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Netherlands shocks transport companies

The Netherlands is tightening up the rules on environmental zones enormously from 2025. No vans or trucks with combustion engines will be allowed in at least 14 environmental zones. Only purely electric vehicles will be allowed.

In many low emission zones in the Netherlands, the rules are currently less strict than in other countries. In Amsterdam, for example, only older diesel vehicles with Euro 0 to 3 are banned, and only since last year. This will change from 2025. The Netherlands will then be the first country in Europe to ban all vans and trucks with combustion engines in at least 14 cities.  Logistics and transport companies will therefore have to convert their fleets completely to zero-emission vehicles.

Environment Minister Stientje Van Veldhoven wants to achieve that services such as the transport of goods and parcels, but also, for example, waste collection, will be completely free of exhaust fumes and CO2 emissions. From 2030 onwards, the measure should save one megatonne of CO2 per year.

To help companies convert to electric vans and trucks, they can receive up to 5,000 euros in support from the state. Municipalities are also to expand the charging network in order to adapt the infrastructure to the measure.

At the same time, the number of environmental zones is to increase to at least 30. These are to be defined by the summer. For the activation of the zones, however, a notice period of 4 years must be observed. This means that many of the zones are also likely to be launched in 2025.

There are similar plans for such strict bans in other countries. Berlin's Transport Minister Regine Günther, for example, would like to see vehicles with internal combustion engines banned from entering the environmental zone within the ring road from 2030. However, such concrete and comprehensive plans as in the Netherlands do not yet exist in any other country.

It remains to be seen how logistics and transport companies will react to the strict rules. Electric models are still rare, especially for trucks that cover long distances. For the air in the cities, however, the changes should mean enormous improvements.

Of course, you can find all previous environmental zones in the Netherlands in our Green Zones app.