The city of Amsterdam in The Netherlands has bold plans to ban all diesel and gasoline vehicles by 2030. They will spend the remaining years between now and then building the infrastructure to support a city of electric cars, reported CNN.
The city plans to begin by slowly transitioning from diesel and gasoline-powered vehicles to electric ones. As of next year, certain diesel vehicles will be phased out. By 2022, they have set the goal to only allow electric or hydrogen-powered buses and coaches in the city center. By 2030, the city aims to make sure all transportation is emissions-free.
Sharon Dijksma, the city’s deputy mayor, explains that Amsterdam’s primary concern is the health of its residents, with climate-related issues following behind.
“For Amsterdam, it is a health issue, with climate goals as a direct counterpart. We are pursuing clean air for everyone in Amsterdam by making traffic emissions-free and reducing emissions from other sources.”
The measures set by the city will not be starting from zero. Amsterdam already has five low emission zones where vehicles with the highest level of emissions are banned. The city plans to expand and further regulate these areas. Additionally, the city already has 3,000 charging points at public parking spaces and plans on building another 1,000.
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Residents with an electric car will be able to apply for a charging point in their neighborhood. The city anticipates a total of 23,000 charging points by 2025 to meet the demands of the switch to electric vehicles.
Dijksma acknowledges that while it may be easier to switch public transportation over to electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles, this might be harder for individuals and private owners. She hopes that by 2025, there will be a secondhand market for electric cars, making them more affordable and accessible for individuals still needing to make the switch.
“We need cheap zero emission cars and also a second-hand market by the year 2025. We need a lot of things at the same time, but I am optimistic because I think there is the political will to succeed and there is also a societal will to succeed.”
Amsterdam is not the only city in the world to set forth goals for reducing vehicle emissions. In 2016, Paris, Madrid, Athens, and Mexico City all pledged to ban diesel vehicles by 2025. London is another city taking strict measures to reduce pollution — vehicles in the city center must meet strict emissions standards or risk large fines. Germany has also placed restrictions on diesel vehicles.