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ICE demise greatly exaggerated: Germany, Norway and the Netherlands have no plans to ban fossil fuel vehicles

Confusion over conference speeches and reports have lead some to believe that some countries will force the sale of EVs

The past month saw a flurry of reports stating that Germany, Norway and the Netherlands were considering bans on the sale of traditionally powered vehicles.

Rainer Baake, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has been widely misquoted whist speaking at a climate change forum in Berlin hosted by German national newspaper Tagesspiegel.

Various media outlets report Baake as saying that all new cars registered for sale in Germany will need to be emissions-free by 2030. However, clarifications have been made since which recall the notion that the sale of petrol and diesel powered vehicles would be banned in the next 15 years.

In light of clarifications provided on Electrek, Baak says that “a mandate by 2030 will be necessary to achieve the emission goal without specifying if or when the zero emission mandate will be implemented.”

Suggesting that Germany will outright ban the sale of fossil fuelled vehicles by 2030 is over zealous, especially given the clarified comments made by the German official. This is especially true considering that the uptake of electric vehicles in Germany constitutes a mere fraction of cars currently on the road.

According to Bloomberg, “Purely electric vehicles as a portion of all cars on German roads may reach about 8 percent in 2025 from 0.6 percent this year”. These figures are taken from a forecast by the Centre of Automotive Management Institute.

Speaking at the same climate change forum Baake said himself that: “We don’t have any answers to cut truck emissions right now but we do have answers for cars.”

No Consensus on Carbon neutrality

It’s not clear what approach Germany will take to achieve its 2030 carbon neutral mandate, but considering that EVs make up only 0.6% of cars on German roads, a ban looks a long way off.

Electrans reached out to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, asking about the actual plans for carbon neutrality by 2030. We are awaiting comment.

In the case of Norway, a headline in The Independent claims that the country is to ‘ban all petrol powered cars by 2015’, which again seems to be an over eager use of reports made in a Norwegian newspaper. The Independent article says that “According to Norwegian newspaper Dagens Naeringsliv, “FRP will remove all gasoline cars”.
However, these claims have been met with criticism and furore on Twitter.

According to an article originally published on Renewables International, politicians from Norway’s liberal party have no plans to ban the sale of petrol and diesel powered cars. Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, tweeted that there will be “No ban, but strong actions to reach target of zero new fossil-fuel cars sold as from 2025.”

 These strong actions amount to making electric vehicle ownership the more attractive option through a series of taxes subsides and rush hour tariffs, not the outright ban on the sale of non electric vehicles that was suggested.

The claims made about the Netherlands’ plans to ban fossil fuel vehicles haven’t been quite as bold. The Dutch parliament’s liberal coalition is not united on the issue of banning traditional vehicles and there is no general consensus that this would be possible.

Socialist leader Diederik Samsom sees the plan as “completely feasible”. Moreover, the party leader Halbe Zijlstra has described the plan as “crazy” and has suggested it would be in breach of the Netherlands’ Energy Agreement.”

However it has been reported in the NLTimes that, “VVD Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs thinks that at most 15 percent of all sold cars can be completely electric in 2025.”

Despite the claims being unfounded, reaction from EV enthusiasts has been positive. Tesla’s own Elon Musk Tweeted about the ban, praising Norway as “amazingly awesome.”

However, maybe Norway’s plans to make EV ownership a desirable option by introducing taxes and charges on petrol and diesel powered vehicles could encourage an increase in the number of EVs on its roads, with other countries following suit.

 

About Yasmin Duncan

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