The Flanders Government has proposed legislation banning the sale of new combustion engine cars by 2027, Le Soir reports. Fossil fuelled vehicles are now being phased out and the sale of new combustion engine cars in the European Union will end by 2035.
According to the proposal, by 2027 new number plates will only be permitted to vehicles with zero emissions. This will render it impossible to licence a new car with a petrol or diesel engine.
The measure only concerns new cars but similar regulations for used cars should come into force in 2030. The plans do not constitute an outright ban for combustion engine cars and indeed, depending on the efficiency of the car, it can in some cases be more ecological to continue running a petrol or diesel car rather than upgrading to a brand new electric vehicle which requires considerable material and energy to produce.
Flemish Minister of Mobility Lydia Peeters has stated that in the coming years, the price of electric vehicles should be lowered so that they are more widely available to the general public – especially on the second hand market. She cited a report that “electric vehicles will cost the same as non-electric vehicles by 2026.”
The proposed measures far exceed those set by the EU; only Norway has set more ambitious targets in this respect. It remains to be seen whether the aims are realistic.