Amsterdam (NL) starts zero-emission zone on January 1, 2025

From January 1st, Amsterdam will implement a zero-emission zone for commercial and freight vehicles in the city center (within the S100). The current low-emission zone within the A10 ring road will also be tightened. The most polluting diesel cars will no longer be allowed there.

The requirements that Amsterdam will set from January 1, 2025, will apply to a smaller area than the city administration initially envisioned. Not all areas within the A10 ring road will become zero-emission, only the zone within the inner ring S100. Various transitional arrangements and exemptions will apply over the coming years. This should ensure that entrepreneurs who cannot immediately switch have time to transition to cleaner transport, possibly with the help of a government subsidy or the city’s scrappage scheme.

Air Quality

Over the past 15 years, air quality in Amsterdam has improved. By introducing the zero-emission zone and tightening the environmental zone, the municipality is taking the next step. According to the Alderperson van der Horst, the zero-emission zone is an important step. Still, she wants entrepreneurs to have the space to transition to zero-emission transport feasibly: “Many entrepreneurs have already made great strides, but we see that small businesses struggle more, especially. That is why we have various transitional arrangements, and exemptions can be requested if businesses cannot financially make the switch yet.”

In Two Phases

The zero-emission zone was initially intended to apply within the entire A10 ring road. Still, since the national government has not yet approved a traffic sign, the zone is temporarily reduced to the S100 inner ring. The plan is to expand the zone to the A10 ring road in 2028. By 2028, the entire area within the A10 should be zero-emission. This, however, has not yet been established in the traffic decision.

Alderperson Van der Horst said in Parool: “It’s a setback, but I consider it a manageable one. We are still establishing a very large zero-emission zone. I would have been disappointed if we hadn’t decided on zero-emission. Moving towards such a zone is a very important step.”

By maintaining a smaller zero-emission zone within the S100, the potential reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx), soot (EC), and CO2 emissions from business vehicles will decrease by 68.2% within the S100, according to the municipality.

Transitional Arrangements and Exceptions

Amsterdam must remain well-supplied and accessible. Thanks to various transitional arrangements, many vehicles can still enter the city in the coming years, allowing entrepreneurs to gradually adapt their fleet to the new rules. The municipality has also organized several information evenings to give entrepreneurs personal advice on greening their vehicles.

There is a national subsidy scheme for commercial vehicles. If an entrepreneur really cannot switch to electric vehicles, for example, because these vehicles are not yet available, or if a company is in financial trouble, they can apply for an exemption, writes the alderman. Additionally, twelve-day exemptions are available annually for entrepreneurs who do not need to be in the city center often.

Additional measures

The measures to introduce a zero-emission zone for commercial and freight vehicles are part of a broader approach to increase clean transport in the city. From January 1, 2025, new mopeds and scooters must also be zero-emission and a zero-emission zone for recreational boating is planned. Additionally, the public charging network, including fast charging points, will be expanded.

The zero-emission zone for taxis has been postponed because national legislation is still lacking. For taxis, the rules of the environmental zone apply. Alderperson Van der Horst regrets this.

Currently, Amsterdam is one of 29 Dutch municipalities introducing a zero-emission zone, a joint effort that should result in a CO2 reduction of 1 megaton by 2030. Follow the latest developments in zero-emission zones here.

Read also the Response Note (in Dutch, but interesting to read)

Check out the business case here.

Source: Municipality of Amsterdam

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