Power moves — no pun intended.
Everyone’s been talking about how electric vehicles are the future of transportation, but without a push, when will people actually take the initiative to trade in their gas-guzzling vehicles for electric ones?
The Netherlands is considering taking matters into its own hands, with talk of banning all petrol and diesel vehicle sales as soon as 2025. Although existing fossil-fuel-run vehicles could continue driving around until their engines gave out, the ban would mean that only electric cars would be approved for sale come 2025.
The proposal sounds extreme, but the majority of the lower house in Dutch parliament is already on board, meaning that there’s definitely a chance that the ban could be passed into law. The new rule would mean that even fuel-efficient hybrids would be banned, although hydrogen fuel cell cars would be permitted.
Given the Netherlands’ current track record with electric vehicles, the change might not be too drastic for its citizens. Inside EVs reports that over 43,000 electric vehicles were purchased in the country last year, placing electric cars at an impressive 9.6 percent share of the market.
Although the country still lags behind Norway — the leader in electric vehicle use, with an incredible 22.39 percent market share — the Netherlands still puts countries like the United States (0.66 percent), the United Kingdom (1.1 percent), and Canada (0.35 percent) to shame.
Turning the country’s automobile market into a completely emissions-free one is certainly an ambitious plan, and not everyone is convinced it will work.
According to the NL Times, Henk Kamp, the Minister of Economic Affairs from the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) says the proposal is unrealistic, and that the country could reach a 15 percent electric car rate at most by 2025.
But others are more optimistic. Diederik Samsom, leader of the Labor Party in the Netherlands, thinks the plan is completely feasible since the area of technology is advancing at a rapid pace and other countries, like Norway, are already ahead of the Netherlands.
At the climate change conference in Paris, the Netherlands was one of five countries and eight US states to join the International Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Alliance, pledging to make all new vehicle sales electric by 2050 — so it’s clear the country is on board with the movement in the long run, but could the goal be accomplished a couple decades earlier instead?
It’s still up in the air whether the 2025 ban will really be passed, but the fact that the debate is even taking place shows how dedicated many people in the Netherlands are to creating a cleaner world. If the country could inspire other big players around the globe, like the US, the UK, and Canada, the impact could truly make a difference — and leave the generations to come with a cleaner future.
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