We can only hope more cities will follow.
Amsterdam is a famously tolerant city, but there’s one sin it won’t be tolerating much longer - air pollution. Saying that pollution is shortening the average life expectancy of residents by a year, municipal authorities in the Netherlands capital city recently announced a plan to ban vehicles running on gas or diesel from driving in the city center by 2030.
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Above: Tesla Model S charging in Amsterdam (Source: Wikipedia Commons)
“Pollution often is a silent killer and is one of the greatest health hazards in Amsterdam,” said the councilor responsible for the city’s traffic, Sharon Dijksma.
The city’s Clean Air Action plan will be implemented in phases. Starting next year, diesel cars that are more than 15 years old will be banned from going within the A10 ring road around the Dutch capital. Smoke-belching buses and coaches will no longer be permitted after 2022. The ban will be extended to pleasure craft on the canals, as well as mopeds, by 2025. All traffic within the urban area must be emission-free by 2030.
The city plans to encourage residents to go electric by offering charging stations to every EV buyer. The city currently has some 3,000 charging stations, and The Guardian’s sources estimate that it will need between 16,000 and 23,000 by 2025.
The Rai Association, the automotive industry’s lobby group, is not in favor of the plan. “Many tens of thousands of families who have no money for an electric car will soon be left out in the cold. That makes Amsterdam a city of the rich,” said a spokesman.
Above: A significant all-electric taxi fleet is already servicing Amsterdam's Schipol Airport (Youtube: Zachary Shahan)
Amsterdam joins numerous other European cities that are moving to keep the most polluting vehicles out of city centers. Madrid has begun restricting access to gas vehicles made prior to 2000 and diesel vehicles made prior to 2006. Rome has pledged to ban diesel vehicles from the city center by 2024. The Danish government has said it wants to eliminate new gas and diesel cars by 2030 and hybrids by 2035.
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