Both countries recently revealed plans to shift towards completely electric transportation within the next ten years.
India and the Netherlands recently announced their intent to shift completely away from gas-powered cars in favor of becoming 100 percent electric-powered. Both plans would have to be executed over several years and would require significant changes in infrastructure and politics, yet those who support are confident this paradigm shift is possible.
India established the goal year of 2030 to complete this transition, with the Road Transport and Highways minister Nitin Gadkari running the working group that will determine whether this is a likely possibility. They are slated to meet sometime in the first week of April to discuss the feasibility of this plan.
As Piyush Goyal, India’s power minister, said in a recent public appearance, “Innovation is possible, it just needs an open mind.” He continued on to express his intent of making this program self-financing, so that the funding that would normally be spent on fossil fuels would go towards funding the electric car program. “We are thinking of scale. We are thinking of leading the world rather than following the world. India will be the first largest country in the world to think of that scale,” he stated.
The Netherlands reached a similar goal through a majority vote in the lower house of Dutch parliament an agreement to ban new sales of petrol or diesel cars, starting in 2025. The motion was introduced by the PvdA, which would provide an ambitious goal to push the commitment to full electric transportation by decades.
Some critics do not agree that this is an option, however. Coalition partner VVD was reported to find the motion overambitious and unrealistic. According to the NL Times, the VVD Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs thinks that at most, only 15 percent of all purchased vehicles can be completely electric by 2025. Even Party leader Halbe Zijlstra lacks faith, stating that the plan contradicts Netherlands’ Energy Agreement. He even stated that “It seems crazy to get this plan to work. I think we’ll have to withdraw from the Energy Agreement.”
Despite the criticism, PvdA leader Diederik Samsom refuted that the plan “is completely feasible – technology in this area is advancing at a rapid pace and other countries are already ahead of the Netherlands.” According to Samsom, the plan also does not interfere with the energy agreement at all, as that agreement only runs until 2023; this means the party is free to pursue a direction towards elimination of gas-powered transportation.
While both regions have received their fair share of doubt from naysayers, the introduction of legitimate plans to shift away from traditional fuel sources is still a positive step in the right direction.
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