The Dutch proposal arrived a year after it joined the International Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Alliance, which aims to make all new vehicles use electric power by the year 2050. The country is already one of the fastest growing markets for alternatively fuelled cars, with nearly one in 10 cars bought last year using electric power.
The UK has seen similarly rapid levels of growth, although the overall number of sales for alternatively fuelled vehicles is comparably small.
There is an increasing contribution from hybrids and EVs to overall figures, though, which has taken place despite recent changes to UK government grant subsidies that mean cars that were previously eligible for grants of £5000 are now receiving as little as £2500 off their new list price.
London is also only four years away from enforcing a permanent Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), meaning all vehicles in the zone must meet strict emissions requirements. Nitrogen oxide and particulate matter from vehicles are expected to be halved as a result of the ULEZ.
With sales of alternatively fuelled cars on the up (Tesla’s new all-electric Model 3 received more than a quarter of a million orders in its first 72 hours on sale) and stricter enforcement of emissions limits, how long will it be until the combustion engine is either completely banned or priced out of the market?
To give us a better idea, we look at how other cities and countries are planning to tackle harmful pollution from cars.
London, England – Ultra Low Emissions Zone by 2020
For cars and small vans, all diesel engines must be Euro 6 compliant and up to five years old, and petrol engines must be Euro 4 compliant and registered on, or after, 1 January 2006. Vehicles that don’t meet these criteria must pay an additional cost to drive in the zone.
The zone will cover the Congestion Charge area, which has been in place since 2003 and requires cars to pay a fee to enter it between 7am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, unless it’s a low-emissions vehicle.
Delhi, India – Odd-even number plate rule
In January 2016 a two-week car rationing trial was imposed on Delhi, meaning cars with even and odd number plates were only allowed on the road on alternate days. It was a response to alarmingly high pollution levels, but while the ban greatly improved the horrendous traffic in the city, there was little evidence to suggest it improved air quality.