It’s possible that the sale of new gasoline and diesel vehicles in the Netherlands may come to an end within a decade. Labor Party members recently passed a bill in one legislative chamber which is now under review by the Dutch Senate. For this initiative to be successful, electric vehicles (EVs) will have to become more affordable. While currently more expensive than conventional vehicles, EV costs are already coming down and sales have been brisk. December 2015 set sales records for EVs, including full-electric and plug-in hybrid models.
Other areas are cracking down on combustion, too. Paris now prohibits pre-1997 cars from operating in the central city between 8am and 8pm on weekdays. The ban will gradually move forward to cover cars registered as recently as 2010. The new mayor of London is also under pressure to limit diesel vehicles. Interesting discussions are also happening in Germany in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal. EVs have been most prevalent in Norway where 23% of all new car sales in 2016 to date were electric vehicles.
Meanwhile in the U.S., the Obama Administration is hoping to fire up the auto industry by announcing a set of new EV initiatives. Loan guarantees will support development of commercial charging stations and specific travel corridors will be targeted for new charging stations. Federal agencies will partner with state and local governments to purchase EV fleet vehicles at discount prices.
With all this activity, the coming decade promises to be a wild ride for electric vehicles. If you’re installing solar panels, it might be a good idea to include an option to expand the system for vehicle charging.