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Friday, August 19, 2016

Is the traditional motor car heading for the scrap heap?

Interesting news in the Independent that the Dutch government has set a date for parliament to host a roundtable discussion that could see the sale of petrol- and diesel-fuelled cars banned by 2025.

The paper says that if the measures are finally passed, then the Netherlands would join Norway and Denmark in making a concerted move to develop its electric car industry. Elsewhere in Europe, Germany managed to have all of its power supplied by renewable energies such as solar and wind power on one day in May as they continues to phase out reliance on nuclear energy and fossil fuels:

Richard Smokers, principle adviser in sustainable transport at the Dutch renewable technology company TNO, said the Dutch government was committed to meeting the Paris climate change agreement to reduce greenhouse emissions to 80 per cent less than the 1990 level. The plan requires the majority of passenger cars to be run on CO2-free energy by 2050.

"Dutch cities still have some problems to meet existing EU air quality standards and have formulated ambitions to improve air quality beyond these standards," he told The Independent, adding that the government had at the same time been reluctant to implement strict policies on the environment.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is the way forward, however we still have some way to go before we can achieve a fume-free transport network. There still needs to be improvements in the storage capacity of batteries, though there have been major strides in recent years.

And there also needs to be a massive investment in charging points by the UK Government if we are to follow suit. We also need to improve our use of renewables and accelerate the electrification of our railway network.

Not for the first time the UK is way behind continental Europe in this area. We need to ensure that Brexit does not push us further behind. We cannot afford to be Europe's most polluting country.
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