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Denmark to Ban Sale of Fossil-Fuel Cars

Country also sets goal for more than 1 million EVs or hybrids by 2030

CHICAGO -- Denmark is banning sales of new fossil-fuel-powered vehicles in 2030, joining other European countries that have put a target on gasoline- and diesel-powered transportation.

Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen made the announcement to the country’s parliament Oct. 2, Bloomberg and Euractiv reported. At the same time, the country has set a target to have more than 1 million electric vehicles (EV) or hybrids on the road by 2030. 

“In just 12 years, we will prohibit the sale of new diesel and petrol cars, and in 17 years, every new car in Denmark must be an electric car or other forms of zero-emissions car,” Rasmussen said. This may suggest that the country would phase out hybrids in 2035, Euractiv said.

Denmark does not have its own automobile industry, unlike other European countries that have set end dates for fossil-fuel car sales; however, it wants to help add pressure on automakers to increase the availability of less-polluting vehicles, Bloomberg reported.

In the past two years, a series of European countries have announced planned bans on new sales of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles, including Norway, The Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain and France.

Even California is reportedly mulling a similar ban through either a legislative or a regulatory maneuver. 

Denmark also plans to unveil a proposal that would lessen the cost of EVs, Energy Minister Lars Christian Lilleholt said. As an incentive, it may also allow EVs to drive in bus lanes. Rasmussen’s administration, described as “center-right” by Bloomberg, phased out subsidies of EVs starting in 2017, which led sales of the vehicles to fall from nearly 5,000 to only 700 from 2015 to 2017. But it also has targeted $2 billion toward helping Denmark’s electricity sector to become fossil-fuel-free by 2050. 

Photograph: Shutterstock

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