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Dutch government goes to war against the internal combustion engine

By raccars Published

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The internal combustion engine comes under attack again as the Dutch government threatens a ban.

The internal combustion engine is having a hard time lately. In addition to enduring 'Dieselgate' and antipathy from Boris Johnson, diesel engined vehicles are to be banned from entering Paris at all from 2020. Now the Dutch Labour party is considering a ban on the sale of any petrol or diesel car in the country from 2025.

Only alternatively fuelled vehicles will be allowed to reach the open market nine years from now if the motion is passed. The PvdA party's proposal has already won approval from the lower houses of Parliament in the Netherlands.

Holland is not the only country to have considered such a ban but it looks as though the Netherlands will be the first to implement a zero tolerance policy for vehicles with combustion engines. A year ago the Netherlands became a part of the International Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) Alliance, which proposes that only electric powered cars should be on sale by 2050. Alternatively fuelled vehicles are fast growing in popularity among Dutch car buyers, accounting for nearly ten per cent of all new car sales in Holland last year.

AFVs in the UK

The AFV sector has also grown remarkably quickly in the UK, although its market share is still tiny compared to combustion engined vehicles. New car registrations statistics for last month showed AFV sales up by 21 per cent year on year. In comparison petrol and diesel sales were up by only 4.7 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively.

London ULEZ

In four years' time, London is due to become a permanent Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), which means that only vehicles meeting strict emissions regulations will be able to enter the capital without paying a substantial congestion charge. London Mayor Boris Johnson hopes that the implementation of the ULEZ will halve the amount of nitrogen oxide and dangerous particulates in the Capital's air.

Meanwhile, there has been an amazing rush of pre-orders for Tesla's new Model 3 electric car. Over a quarter of a million customers placed orders within 72 hours of the car being announced, showing that consumers are taking to low emissions vehicles as an alternative to internal combustion engines. It seems it's only a matter of time before petrol and diesel vehicles are banned altogether or market forces convene to price them out as AFVs become cheaper.

Where else is the internal combustion engine under threat?

Delhi, India

Delhi trialled a two week restriction this January which saw only cars with odd or even number plates permitted to enter the city on alternate days. As an attempt to improve air quality in the badly polluted city the scheme's results were ambiguous, but Delhi's famously congested roads were certainly far clearer.

Oslo, Norway

Private cars will be unable to enter Oslo city centre from 2019 as the Norwegian government attempts to halve pollution from greenhouse gases by 2020. The government will also subsidise the purchase of electric bicycles and build more cycle lanes.

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Certain parts of the Dutch city became off limits to any cars made before 1992 and diesel cars pre-dating 2001 in January this year. Those caught driving older cars are fined €90 as Rotterdam invests €12 million to improve its air quality by 25 per cent. A ban on pre-2005 diesel cars is under consideration for 2018.

Mexico City, Mexico

'No drive days' have been used since 1989 which see cars forbidden from driving in the city on certain days of the week according to the last digit on their registration plate. Low emissions cars are exempt from the restriction, which doesn't appear to have improved air quality. Some residents have circumvented the scheme by buying another vehicle.

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