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Denmark Plans to Ban Sales of Petrol and Diesel Cars by 2030

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【Summary】For hybrid vehicles, the estimated phase-out year is 2035. The plan will take some time to come to fruition, as approval is still needed from the parliament.

Michael Cheng    Oct 12, 2018 2:08 PM PT
Denmark Plans to Ban Sales of Petrol and Diesel Cars by 2030
author: Michael Cheng   

Countries looking to combat climate change are turning to EVs for long-term solutions and strategies. In Europe, Denmark is the latest country to propose a ban on gas and diesel-powered cars. 

The government's proposal, which was issued during a parliamentary opening speech, aims to fully phase out the sale of such vehicles by 2030. For hybrid vehicles, the estimated phase-out year is 2035. The plan will take some time to come to fruition, as approval is still needed from the parliament. Moving in this direction, a presentation detailing the initiative, along with 37 other sustainable-energy proposals, will be provided to the parliament in the coming weeks.

Other countries that have made similar proposals include China (by 2040), France (by 2040), Germany (by 2030), Ireland (by 2030) and Norway (by 2025).

Fighting Climate Change with EVs

Denmark's plan to increase EV adoption in the country is beneficial for local residents. Previously, the government increased tax on electrified cars in 2016 (prior to 2016, there were no sales tax for EVs). As a result, new EV sales for that year drastically plummeted from 4,300 all-electric units (2015) to about 1,250 EVs in 2016 and 750 EVs in 2017. In Denmark, the top selling EV in 2015 was the Tesla Model S.

"We are in a race against time when it comes to climate change. But we should not turn our efforts into a political competition. We will only achieve our aims if parliament works together." said Denmark Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen.

The plan to boost the purchase of EVs will address vital aspects of EV adoption and usage. If approved, Denmark will delay its increase on taxes for EVs, making the cars more affordable for locals. Moreover, the government will consider the allocation of extra funds for EV infrastructure projects to ensure access to EV charging stations. Other measures include a potential ban on high-emission buses by 2020 and wood burning stoves, as well as priority lanes for EV drivers on public roads.

Fossil fuel-free by 2050

The plan to ban sales of gas and diesel-powered cars is part of a much larger initiative. Denmark's ultimate goal is to become completely free from fossil fuel by 2050. In order to meet this ambitious goal, the Danish Council on Climate Change has issued a handful of recommendations. According to a report published by the independent group, sustainable-energy policies must be updated periodically to support electric transportation.  

The Danish Council also suggests that 500,000 EVs must be on the road by 2030 in order to reach the country's goal of becoming fossil fuel-free by 2050. Prime Minister Rasmussen doubled this requirement (to one million EVs by 2030) a few days after the Council made the recommendation.

"The transport sector is currently responsible for a quarter of Denmark's carbon dioxide emissions. The air in the largest cities is polluted. So the government will now state a clear aim: in 12 years. In 12 years, we will stop the sale of petrol and diesel cars," said the Prime Minister.

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