Copenhagen wants to ban all ICE cars by 2030

The Danish capital plans to oust all passenger cars on combustion engines from its center by the decade’s end. The proposition isn’t put into law yet but has been accepted by all the governing parties. The confines of the electric-only zone will be determined after a feasibility study.

Copenhagen is an example of the transition toward urban mobility due to its advanced bike policy. It wants to move one step further and turn its center into an electric-only area by 2030. Deploying sufficient charging infrastructure is one of the main obstacles.

Social balance

The spokesman for urban development Rasmus Steenberger told TV2 that the pain point of social balance would also be addressed before the final decision takes effect. Cars are expensive in Denmark, and electric ones are ever more so. On top of that, Copenhagen must align with Frederiksberg, an autonomous and self-governing part of the city. The bohemian neighborhood, however, previously agreed upon today’s low-emission zone, which seems like a positive indication.

The government aims to round up at the end of the year, upon which it can finalize further plans. Steenberger also admitted that the proposal was ambitious. “But without ambition, there isn’t any urban development.”

A city movement

As the ICE ban is a global movement, Copenhagen is following in the footsteps of other cities that already announced the same target year. Oslo, Amsterdam, and London have already been announced to be zero-emission by the end of the decade. Oxford claims to have the first zero-emission city center.

However, the ban in the university town is a pilot project and is governed by an admission fee. Owners of ICE vehicles can still buy themselves an entree, in contrast to the Danish proposal. Also, the capital needs to get approval from the government. The politicians already agreed on municipalities creating zero-emission zones, but this hasn’t been confined to the law yet.

Transition period

Currently, Copenhagen implements environmental zones for trucks (Euro 6), vans (Euro 5), and cars (Euro 5), which must meet the bracketed standards for driving through the center. Hopes for turning the proposal into reality are high. “We know that zero-emission cars are the future,” continued Steenberger. “Electric cars will dominate the picture if we look a little further.” Finally, he added that the ban would preferably accompany a transitional period to give citizens time to adapt.


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