In Brief

Dutch MPs vote to ban sales of petrol and diesel cars

Netherlands plans to phase out high-emission vehicles and sell only electric and hydrogen cars by 2025

Conventionally powered cars could get the boot in the Netherlands after politicians approved a motion to ban sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025.

The law has passed through the lower house of the Netherlands' parliament and requires senatorial approval to become legally binding. Nevertheless, it's still an unprecedented move and potentially "puts the earliest date yet on just when a major country might begin phasing out polluting transportation", says The Guardian.

As it stands, the legislation would mean an end to the sale of new petrol and electric cars - but only because the scale of the motion was dialled back. The original plan, proposed by the government's junior coalition partner, the Dutch Labour Party, called for a sudden ban on the cars entirely. It was thrown out for being "unrealistic".

Now, says Alphr, the country looks set to ready itself for a "very slow burn" to a complete end to petrol and diesel cars, ensuring a slow filtering into electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Even without the legislation, that complete end looks closer in the Netherlands than most countries, with electric vehicles accounting for around ten per cent of the market.

Dutch lawmakers also stress how the country is the ideal spot to attempt the huge shift as it is "small and flat and possible to drive from one side to the other on a single charge", says EV Fleet World.

Auto Express points out that while the new law would be a "major boost" for electric and hydrogen vehicles, similar plans around Europe have been far less extreme.

For instance, Paris plans to be rid of diesel cars by 2020 and London will introduce a new "ultra-low emissions zone" around the same time, with heavier emissions penalties for petrol and diesel vehicles around the capital.

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