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2016-04-29

Netherlands joins Norway in plans to end new gas, diesel car sales by 2025




Amsterdam, the Netherlands

While many countries promote electric cars, only Norway has taken the step of putting into place a plan to phase out cars powered by gasoline or diesel fuel entirely.
Now, however, a similar proposal is under consideration in another European country.
The Dutch parliament recently passed a motion that would end sales of new cars powered solely by gasoline or diesel after 2025.
Sales of hybrid cars would still be allowed after 2025 under the proposed rules, and internal-combustion cars sold before 2025 would be grandfathered for operation until the ends of their lives.
Initiated by the Dutch Labor Party, the motion still has to make it through the senate to become law, and already faces some opposition.
Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp believes the proposed phase out of internal-combustion cars could violate European Union law.
Sales of hybrid cars would still be allowed after 2025 under the proposed rules, and internal-combustion cars sold before 2025 would be grandfathered for operation until the ends of their lives.
Initiated by the Dutch Labor Party, the motion still has to make it through the senate to become law, and already faces some opposition.
Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp believes the proposed phase out of internal-combustion cars could violate European Union law.
Cars that meet current EU emissions standards must, by default, be legal in all member nations, he reasoned.
So the question is whether a member state can unilaterally ban cars that are legal in other states.
Kamp has also said he doubts that electric-car market share will grow beyond the current level of about 15 percent in time for a smooth transition.
Even the current amount is still fairly high compared to other countries, though, indicating that The Netherlands is as good a place as any to try to phase out internal-combustion cars. The government also supports electric cars with incentives like tax breaks.
As a result, Dutch citizens have become relatively enthusiastic about electric cars.
The Netherlands is one of the few places—along with Norway—where you'll see a Tesla Model S luxury sedan used as a taxi, for instance.
The government previously set a target of putting 200,000 electric cars on Dutch roads by 2020, a goal it's already expected to achieve.
But it's still a big leap from that goal to an outright ban on sales of new gasoline and diesel cars, so developments over the next few years should be interesting to watch.