Brussels Looks Towards Banning Fossil Fuel Transportation As Soon As 2035

Many cities around the world routinely struggle with smog. Apart from being unsightly, heavy air pollution has serious negative health effects, both in the short term and with regards to long-term life expectancy. Over the years, governments have tried to tackle the problem with varied tactics around the world.

When talking about smog, Brussels is not one of the cities that comes first to mind. Regardless, the local government has developed its new climate plan that seeks to abolish fossil fuel vehicles from its streets by 2035. The scheme has a variety of measures that will be staggered over the coming years. It’s part of a broadening trend in transportation, and something we’ll likely see more of around the world in coming years.

What’s The Go?

Brussels is in the process of reducing congestion by converting former roads into pedestrian-only spaces. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

Under the new plan, diesel vehicles will be banned from the city’s Low Emission Zone, or LEZ, by 2030. This will further extend to gasoline vehicles in 2035. Furthermore, special categories of higher polluting vehicles will have bans enforced even earlier. Motorcycles had previously been exempt from the LEZ, but moving forward, the most polluting models will be locked out of the city centre as soon as 2022. The aim is to reduce emissions, with a goal of cutting CO2 output by 40 percent by 2030, and becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The city is also exploring the concept of a Zero Emission Zone, or ZEZ, expanding upon earlier efforts which transformed the Boulevard Anspach from a heavily-trafficked road into a pedestrian-only plaza.

We’ve Seen This Before

E-bikes became hugely popular in China after gasoline motorbikes were banned. Unfortunately, thousands have been scrapped as the efficient vehicles became too much of a traffic hazard for the government’s tastes.

Similar bans have been made in other jurisdictions. One of the most well-known bans was enacted in China, which began banning gasoline motorcycles from its largest cities well over a decade ago. This led to commuters switching over to electric bikes and scooters in droves, which were free to navigate the city unhindered. These vehicles were also free of any licencing or registration restrictions. Eventually, a new kind of chaos reigned, as cities were swamped with poorly behaved riders causing large numbers of crashes across cities. Electric bikes were summarily banned from several areas, despite the benefits of the otherwise cheap and clean transport.

Electric bikes have become a contentious issue, with government decrees landing many thousands of the vehicles on the scrapheap. Regardless, China continues to push forward with electric cars in a big way. The world’s largest maker of electric vehicles is Shenzhen-based BYD, and China is the biggest market for the electric car. Over 500,000 electric buses ply the streets, and many thousands of taxis now run solely on electric power. This huge shift has been largely due to government regulation, which shifts fast in the single-party state. Prospective owners of gasoline cars have to compete in lotteries or auctions to win a licence plate in big cities, while so-called New Energy Vehicles receive a plate for free. The country is mulling a total ban on combustion-powered vehicle sales, though has not yet set a deadline for the changeover.

Other countries are moving in similar directions. Denmark aims to ban the sale of diesel and petrol vehicles by 2030, with hybrids banned by 2035. France aims to outlaw the sale of fossil-fuel vehicles by 2040, with the United Kingdom looking at a similar timeline. Sri Lanka aims to eliminate combustion-engined vehicles in state ownership by 2025, with a private ownership ban by 2040. In many cases, these measures are being created with an eye to also enacting similar clean-air zones, with outright bans or taxes on polluting vehicles that wish to enter the area.

Local governments are eager to push these measures which promise a series of beneficial flow-on effects. High levels of nitrogen oxides as well as particulate pollution cause respiratory health problems,leading to thousands of deaths worldwide. Reducing these numbers helps bring down healthcare costs, and improves the habitability of public spaces.  There are other secondary-level benefits too, as a switch away from fossil fuels promises to take thousands of tanker trucks off the roads, further helping to reduce congestion and emissions.

Options to Consider

Government policy promises to drive the uptake of electric vehicles and attract further investment into infrastructure.

Owners of internal combustion vehicles will have some time to contemplate their options going forward. For those with a classic car collection and deep pockets, electric conversions may be an option. However, for the average commuter car, this is rarely cost effective. Motorcycle riders will likely be similarly left out in the cold, with the handful of conversion kits on the market requiring a high level of DIY skills and equipment to execute. Hackers will always make their own, but it’s unlikely to become a solution for the average motorist anytime soon.

Instead, the measure is likely to push commuters to look into purchasing newer, more efficient vehicles. The slow, staggered rollout of the ban gives drivers several years to prepare, helping to gradually switch drivers over to cleaner technologies, without requiring otherwise usable cars to be scrapped overnight. It also creates a natural incentive for the community to consider electric vehicles, helping drive money into the industry to fund further research and development. Policymakers hope that this will snowball, allowing automakers to improve vehicle range and charging speeds, making electric vehicles yet more attractive to potential customers.

Going forward, it’s likely to see more cities and entire countries progress towards fossil fuel phaseouts and no-go zones for polluting vehicles. The gains to be had in reducing smog and pollution are too good to ignore for many municipalities. It’s also a much more flexible tool that can cost less than simply placing large subsidies on clean vehicles, which can be unpopular with lobbyists and constituents alike. Such legislation also helps give confidence to companies contemplating investments in necessary hardware, such as the electricity grid and charging infrastructure. As consumers begin to pour more money into the electric vehicle market, the technology will also begin to outcompete traditional fossil fuel cars. Expect to see similar legislation rolling out in forward-thinking cities around the world, and the electric car takeover to continue to gather pace in the coming years.

168 thoughts on “Brussels Looks Towards Banning Fossil Fuel Transportation As Soon As 2035

    1. You might call it Post-Marxist Monopoly State. The State wants to control the means of transportation, the sources of power, water, food, and healthcare. And their people for the most part think it is a good idea.

        1. Marxism is totalitarianism. It operates by “democratic centralism” which is defined as “Freedom in discussion, unity in action”. It’s a process of government where you first debate about what you should do, then vote about the matter, and then anyone who lost the vote are supposed to drop all criticism and action against the matter and obey the decision. Once the action is done, then it’s time for debate and criticism again.

          However… if you vote for example to “let’s put Stalin in power”, guess what happens? This is guaranteed to happen under Marxism eventually, if not from the very beginning.

          1. See for example: Brexit. Agitators in collusion with actors in the state trick people into voting over a matter in a certain way, and when the voting is done they go “Gotcha! Can’t take it back anymore!”

            In the soviet union, politruks and other agents tasked to spread propaganda went around telling people how to vote, the people then voted to avoid punishment, and so the state could do whatever they wanted to while maintaining the excuse of working under the mandate of the people. These days the same principle is applied through fearmongering and biased reporting in the media, social media bubbles, and then social punishment if someone fails to vote with the right crowd who are presenting themselves as benevolent and altruistic – the good people.

            In other words, you are being asked “Why do you want to destroy the world? Why do you hate the poor?” – begging the question that voting for the elitist and authoritarian petty dictators would actually do something about the matter.

            At least those who were fascists had the guts to say what they’re about: they told you to join and obey or disagree and die. The left does this by playing charades and word games.

        2. It isn’t about profit unless your currency is control and status. The people running the left-wing states preach fear and uncertainty then promise redemption through self-sacrifice of your freedoms, and want you to feel good about it. There are loud cheering sections like the media outlets and universities to tell you why and how you should feel good ab out what you have given up. Though the truly woke will find a way to demonstrate that they get no reward for their sacrifice (or voting for you to sacrifice), thus showing their purity.

    2. Unfortunately the greenish parties try to introduce marxist ideas and the stupid, climate hysteric people even appreciate it. If you can give it a green cloak, many even accept a plain dictatorship.

      1. If you want a good laugh, Extinction Rebellion’s climate protesters in Halifax (NS, Canada) told a cyclist to take the bus (fun starts at 0:48) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YrXoXogSRw

        While shutting down a bridge forcing everyone to take a 40mins detour drive to the other bridge (normally 15mins detour but with all the extra congestion the protesters caused it was way over that).

        They’re the geniuses who want to tell us how to save the planet.

        I can’t wait for their world-global people’s committee to seize (oh sorry, “oversee”) the means of production. It’s sure gonna work out great this time! /s

        Nevermind that cars are now very far from the worst offenders. Small ICE cars can have a lower lifetime CO2 impact than many hybrids or even electrics when everything is accounted for.

        Batteries still suck, they’re close, but they’re not there yet. Solid state batteries might succeed tho, fingers crossed on that.

        Looking at the trends and the technological progress we are well on-route to hit CO2 reduction goals without having to change our ways of life in the way those eco-pretense marxist groups demand with their histrionics.

    3. Marxist? I’ll never understand why people insist in using word out of context of their actual definition, to make it a pejorative term. Then again when I was in school if teacher noticed that, they had the paper back with an order to do it over. This is socialism in nature. Big dea. Here in the USA, socialism begins within our Constitution. Manifest Destiny, the Homestead Act; the Federal government awarding wide swaths of land to, and lending money to the rail roads, an very extensive road network are all socialism. Generally speaking if you live in the US your are better off than a larger number of people on the planet. Sure many do fall through the crack here in US, but many doing fine find excuses not help others. I suspect Lewan expect reader to follow the hyperlink to read more on the top, but the thing is nothing in the poss suggest Western Europe is about to ban private ownership of transportation means

      1. Marxism, yes. It is a philosophy and economic theory and is a form of Left Hegelianism. It is based in goofy ideas about The Will (from before anything was known about the brain, it was thought you lifted your arm by means of your Will, and that The Will was capable of much more) and a group consciousness that produces a Star Trekian evolution of human nature and culture through the cycles of the dialectic. Those who do not cooperate are delaying these never ending Zeno half-steps to perfection and perfect social justice, and are enemies of the people and the state. The Left Hegelians were dominated by a vitriolic hate of religion and its intertwining with the monarchies, and the graft and corruption and favoritism it represented at the time. Their State replaces religion. As the leaders work to secure their (essential) positions in this grand process, they gather power. You know the rest. They become the new saints. Holding control and especially control of information and education and public discourse, requires an ever firmer hand until you reach the killing fields, the cultural revolution, collapse, and of course their greatest tool, war.

        Yes, they are Marxist. Maybe you are just thinking of the Workers World Party.

      2. “socialism begins within our Constitution”

        Many people mistake collective and/or state action as socialism, because it’s all been rhetorically appropriated by the socialists – but we’re really talking about different reasons and different philosophies for doing things – and different rules as to how you’re supposed to do it.

        After all, the modern welfare state with pensions and public health care etc. was first established by Otto von Bismarck, and the actual socialists resisted this because it was seen as the upper classes simply throwing a bone to the proletariat – until the left hijacked the idea and started playing the game as if it was their idea in the first place.

        The point being that some state and collective action is always unavoidable, or it may even be democratically voluntary, so if you can play word games to define this as “socialism” you get to slip in a bit of actual socialism and all that comes with it, i.e. grabbing arbitrary powers to yourself as a political class above the people.

        1. After all, when you define power as belonging to a free people, but then you go around defining the people not as the collection of actual individuals but as the interrelations of society (Marx), and you also define freedom as being positive in the sense of being actualized only through the individual’s actions in a state (Hegel), you get a society where you need a class of political intellectuals sitting on top of the power pyramid to dictate “the will” of “the people” for everybody. (Marx plus Lenin)

  1. Going the way of California and will cause them to go broke. You have to have market forces move this forward not political. I have an ebike and love it but I haven’t got rid of my gasoline car. I think with technology electric will take over, but some of these political edicts don’t help much and more often hurt.

    Ok let the flames begin.

    1. No flames here. But there’s nothing in the market forces that prevents it from killing us. Market forces are gonna march us straight into a global Holodomor. That’s a pretty clear fact now. I don’t know what to do about that, but we clearly have to figure something out. Technocratic answers are floundering and won’t get good enough in time.

      1. I lived in So California for forty years four of which was in San Jose. In San Bernardino the smog was so bad you couldn’t see the mountains many days. As a kid my lungs hurt when we played outside. So I am thankful for the government regulations that helped to clean it up a lot. There is a balance that is needed. But Cali is am example of left bring in total control and regulations and rules out of control.

        1. Respectfully that was a confusing statement. You initially gave credit to the government, and regulation for improving your local environment only to later state regulations are out of control. The terms left in right, in political sense are forever, malleable. I’d hazard a guess at the time they where where enacted, the regulations you where thankful for, where characterized as “leftest” by many.

    2. I think we should let market forces make the move, but we should make the market pay what the actual cost to the world is, not just the raw material and labour. Companies which benefiting from the creation of pollution should be made to pay whatever it costs to clean up that pollution. If I owned a company that produced widgets from slime, but the process created toxic sludge, I wouldn’t be able to dump the toxic sludge in the city centre.

        1. And the governments spend the tax revenue on subsidizing the poor, whose poverty is caused by the high price of everything thanks to high taxation of transportation and energy which strikes at the economic base of the whole economy.

        2. That might be true, but the governments don’t spend that money combatting the problem, they just use it to prop up the bottom line (and most aren’t doing that very well, as evidenced by ever increasing national debt).

          1. The problem of taxation for behavior adjustment is that it’s a stick and carrot. If you apply the stick, you then have to apply the carrot: when you tax something as basic as fuel, you harm the economy and cause more poverty. Then you have to spend money to fix the situation.

            So when governments tax something like fuel, they see their social expenses increase, and thus they cannot stop taxing because they need the money. If then the subject which they tax would go away – disaster – so the tax level has to be adjusted just so that the money keeps coming and the people keep using the fuel, or tobacco, or alcohol, or whatever that is taxed on the excuse of “reducing harm”.

            It does no such thing. It just gives the government money to pay for the costs caused by the extraction of said money. This is a win-win situation for the bureaucrats because it means people depend on them to keep fixing the problem they themselves cause.

        3. Well those fuel taxes, and licensing fees where enacted to construct the roadways the motoring public where demanding, not to deal with modern day issues. Nice try with the spin, but can only work with the intellectually lazy.

    3. I agree. No flames. Let the market work it out. What governments can do is encourage ‘R&D’ to find a viable solutions that are economically competitive with current energy sources… Not dictate policy. Marxism/socialism/communism is not the answer. And there is plenty of time to those that are like chicken little and the sky is falling… No hurry.

      1. What governments can do is subsidize either A) particular people or institutes, or B) a whole field or sector of economy. A has the problem of nepotism and corruption because the government chooses who they’re paying, which is of course their own buddies. See the military-industrial complex. B has the problem of blindly throwing money into the market where it is picked up by cheaters and disappears out of the country. See for example how Germany subsidized solar panels in order to kick up its own solar industry, but look who started selling cheaply made solar panels and grabbed 80% of the market instead?

        It was faster to grab the money by selling imported Chinese solar panels than put up a factory of your own, so the people got crummy past-generation PV technology for a top price and a few green peddlers got rich, while the original intent of funding “R&D” never materialized. The solar panels are still made on the same old formula in factories and processes that were simply copied by the Chinese.

        In general, when you subsidize a field of industry like that, you can’t expect it to put the money on R&D. That’s because those who don’t can sell their existing products at cheaper prices and they can expand to fill the market. Those who try to develop new stuff can’t maintain low prices AND research AND expand at the same time.

        Governments “encouraging” research by throwing money around is a fantasy. It’s going to be rewarding crony capitalism either way.

        1. That’s why people support carbon taxes, which convert negative externalities into something that is the company’s problem again, so they have incentives to reduce the externalities.

          *Not* having a carbon tax is actually the same thing as subsidizing the fossil fuel industry: you take money from many people (who are harmed by pollution) and give it to the fossil fuel companies.

          1. Yes, that’s the direct rationale, but you still forget the other side:

            Governments that tax carbon cannot let carbon go away, because that would mean the money goes away. The money goes to paying schools and hospitals, welfare, social programs… and since the commitment to fund them is made, it cannot be taken away – the government cannot lose the revenue.

            Hence, taxing carbon is a sure way to keep it around forever. It’s a good selling point to claim that carbon taxes help reduce the use of carbon, but what is left out is that the government is then compelled to do everything in its power to make carbon not disappear from the market.

            For example, it would be trivial for the government to slap such high taxes on tobacco that most people simply wouldn’t buy them. After a while, the addicted people would die out and the market for tobacco would vanish – but – since it’s such a good source of revenue, they actually keep the tax at a level that hurts but doesn’t stop too many people from smoking. The side effect is that many people who do smoke are of lower income, so the tax on tobacco makes poor people poorer, and so the government has to spend all the money they tax out of tobacco into social programs to replace the money they took – and thus making it cheaper for poor people to live, which means they can again afford to buy tobacco. The same thing goes round and round and nothing is resolved, but the politicians and moral entrepreneurs get to look very important and can justify their own salaries by pointing to all these social problems that they’re “solving”.

          2. Taxation is usually applied on things that have “inelastic demand”. For example, vehicles are taxed because people can’t not drive – they need cars to live. Food is taxed because people can’t stop eating. Alcohol is taxed because people like drinking.

            The point is to collect the tax, not to stop people from doing it. The state can’t just lump everything into one big income tax, because then even the poor would have to pay close to 50% their income in taxes and all the pretense of progressiveness would vanish – the people would instantly see what a burden their government has become because almost half their labor is spent on supporting the admins.

            Instead, the taxes are dispersed into all the basic commodities that people can’t live without. This hides the tax and doubles it, because you pay income tax, and then you pay consumption tax, and then you pay sales tax, and… etc.

          3. >” you take money from many people (who are harmed by pollution) ”

            But who still choose to drive cars and use the electricity, and all the good that comes out of that. By pollution I assume you mean the greenhouse effect, which is a symptom of not living withing your means as a society, rather than pollution in the sense of direct air pollution which has little to do with the carbon itself.

            Not taxing carbon is simply not taxing carbon. It is not a subsidy to anyone.

      1. Yes. but also its rank is falling, people and companies are leaving. It is turning into a 3rd world country. I was born and raised there and still back to visit but it is falling a part because it is controlled by one party and has rules that are not balanced. If either party totally dominates this will happen.

  2. Just a personal view from the inside:

    I started Hacker Space Brussels (HSBXL) 10 years ago, I don’t have a car, and at some point my bike was sitting on the balcony for a month, I ended up with some fine grey dust covering the frame.

    I also started welding my own steel bike frame and was looking for a brand name, I ended up reading the Provo manifestos, some dutch anarchists who had a plan to flood the whole city with free white bikes in the 60s, from the wikipedia page:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provo_(movement)

    “The political wing of the Provos won a seat on the city council of Amsterdam, and developed the “White Plans”. The most famous of those is the “White Bicycle Plan”, which aimed to improve Amsterdam’s transport problem. Generally the plans sought to address social problems and make Amsterdam more liveable.

    List of the White Plans:

    White Bicycle Plan: initiated by Luud Schimmelpenninck, the plan proposed the closing of central Amsterdam to all motorised traffic, including motorbikes, with the intention of improving public transport frequency by more than 40% and to save two million guilders per year. Taxis were accepted as semi-public transport, but would have to be electrically powered and have a maximum speed of 25 m.p.h. The Provos proposed one of the first bicycle sharing systems: the municipality would buy 20,000 white bikes per year, which were to be public property and free for everybody to use. After the plans were rejected by the city authorities, the Provos decided to go ahead anyway. They painted 50 bikes white and left them on streets for public use. The police impounded the bikes, as they violated municipal law forbidding citizens to leave bikes without locking them. After the bikes had been returned to the Provos, they equipped them all with combination locks and painted the combinations on the bicycles. (The song “My White Bicycle” by the English psychedelic rock band Tomorrow, later covered by Nazareth and by Nigel Planer, was inspired by the White Bicycle plan.[2][3])”

    I think they were pioneers, now capitalists took the idea, and transformed it into Uber eBikes and eScooters for rental, where a lot of those end up in the canal, or damaged by vandalism.

    I am worried for my kids to breathe this nasty air, and I enjoy going back my parent’s country side in the Ardennes to breathe more clean air and ride my mountain bike.

    I am seriously thinking about leaving the city and work totally remotely, but those 2 things are harder to do once you have a family.

    Maybe see you at Fosdem in February or in Leipzig after Xmas!

  3. And if they get more “clean” hand grenade explosions in Sweden and more clean exploding LiIon batteries then Europe will look like a paradise.
    Sorry – but instead on focusing to the real problems of Europe and taking technical problems the technical, realistic way one gets pink-cloud-level promises which reminds me of political jokes of the soviet era: “In the near future, comrades, we will no longer have cars – everyone will have an airplane!” “Wouldn’t that be a bit to far-stretched?” “But no – imagine you live in Moscov and you hear that in Wladivostok they actually sell shoelaces – then you need an airplane to quickly travel to Wladivostok to get one before they are out of stock again!”
    Wouldn’t it be better to create a real working alternative which will replace the former solutions the natural way?

    1. I agree as to the authorities diverting the resources from the real problems to their pet issues. These favourite issues seem to always be caused by the living people and their freedoms. The trend is to deify the nature, the planet, and to save it from the humans, explicitly or under a plethora of pretexts. The analogy with Marxist class struggle (exploited nature vs. exploiting humans) is valid, but it started as far as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the father of progressivism, and catalyst of the revolution in France. Here the quote : “Let us conclude that savage man, wandering about in the forests, without industry, without speech, without any fixed residence, an equal stranger to war and every social connection, without standing in any shape in need of his fellows, as well as without any desire of hurting them, and perhaps even without ever distinguishing them individually one from the other, subject to few passions, and finding in himself all he wants”

  4. Why go for such a black and white solution?
    I’m fine with all new vehicles being electric starting around 2035. However, outright scrapping is horrible.
    Also for our rolling heritage.
    If 99% of all cars is gonna be electric, and 1% of cool old stuff is occasionally driving around, that’s not gonna influence the environment at all. Neither local nor globally.

    90-99% fossil fuel free? Fine. 100% Ridiculous.

  5. Transport based on electricity also uses fossil fuels. At ;east big power plants are a bit more efficient than IC engines.

    In my country at least 95% of energy, both electric and central heat, comes from burning coal. They even passed some laws that make using wind turbines almost impossible…

    1. Power plants are FAR more efficient than car IC engines. And there lies the reduced carbon footprint, even if ALL electricity for those cars comes from gasoline-powered power plants. Furthermore, you have only 1 smokestack – not millions.

      1. Alternatively one could make fossil fuels from algae achieving 0% of carbon emission footprint. Or even negative number because not all of the biomass would be converted to fuel. This would make cars green and at the same time being as useful as usual. Of course, petrol industry won’t like it at all…

      2. “Power plants are FAR more efficient than car IC engines” they are but what about big picture?
        Turing coal power plant on or off takes few days. To operate coal power plant constant delivery of coal is required. You can’t burn less coal to make less power on demand from hour to hour.
        Most of people would charge EVs after going back to home after job so you have big spike of required power starting at 4PM to 9PM. That is an issue already even without EV. Solar and wind power plants doesn’t make things better.
        There is no good method of storing massive amounts of energy. So your power plant need to operate at high level 24/7 to satisfy that peek, is it still more efficient?

  6. All this amounts to is shifting the pollution source to fossil fuel power plants and in China coal fired power plants. And lets not forget the power grid is going to have to be rebuilt to handle the massive load once all the cars are electric.

    It’s a farce.

    And forcing people to buy brand new electric cars will only result in many people not having any personal transportation.

    E-bikes? They are a joke. Try carrying a bag of groceries, you can’t. Also another case of shifting pollution. First the battery is made by slave labor in China where there are no pollution controls just so some virtue signalling greenies in the West can preen. And when the battery is used up it goes into a toxic waste landfill or more likely the local landfill.

    1. The power source for electricity doesn’t have to be fossil fuel. The Belgian power grid is actually already more than 50% nuclear. Only 40% fossil fuel, and hopefully that will decrease.
      Strange comment on the e-bike, I don’t know why you wouldn’t be able to carry groceries on them. Carrying groceries is certainly quite achievable on a regular pedal bike.

        1. i always like reading this comment about the long term radioactive material. What isn’t discussed is that it is radioactive for so long because the rate of decay is very slow. in other words, you could stand beside the stuff without any real harm as long as you limited exposure. Now the stuff that is radioactive for only a day! stay a mile away from that but i don’t think (not sure) that this type of stuff is coming out of a nuclear plant. If you are green, you should be for nuclear power but they are not. Bottling and storing all the nasty stuff in one spot is my preference rather than the current solution forced on us by necessity to scatter the waste products of producing power into the four winds. i know someone will say we should be using renewables but that hasn’t been proven a total solution yet and I am not betting on it to ever do this although my second choice is solar panels in space. My bet is on fusion at this time but that is also going to be a tough nut to crack.

          1. Nuclear power is cleaner than fossil fuel power. But with a large variation (occasionally millions of people die) so many people are opposed to it. Wind and solar power is even cleaner than nuclear power, and with less variation, but it’s more expensive.

    2. Ummmm…. cars are also a joke much of the time. I have both e and non-e bikes and often ride to work. I get to work just as fast as driving, and it saves 3000-4000 miles a year from being added to my car. It’s a 30mi round trip across a small city, and I often find myself riding happily past all the backed up traffic! It’s honestly great. The best part is that I show up to work in a great mood when I ride my bike; on the other hand I just hate humanity when I drive. Go ahead, tell me it’s a joke simply because it’s not for you.

      Also, power plants are much more efficient than ICE vehicles.

      1. “power plants are much more efficient than ICE vehicles”

        Yeah, but do you drive a power plant? You have to transmit the power, charge it up to a battery, pay the energy cost to produce the battery, then put the power through an inverter and then feed it through a motor. Then you have to count the increase in consumption due to paying a higher price for an electric car.

        The total efficiency of the system isn’t actually greater than with ICE vehicles.

        1. Sure, total efficiency between the two methods is probably really close. But if/when we go to renewable energy sources, we can’t charge ICE vehicles, can we? What comes first, the EV’s or the renewable energy sources? It’s such a stupid argument to halt progress simply because everything does not change instantaneously. It’s not all or nothing.

          1. When we go to renewable sources, there’s going to be a need to produce plastics and oils synthetically from CO2 and water, and storing large amounts of energy is most convenient with synthetic hydrocarbons. Trying to build terawatt-hour scale batteries to store all the energy as electricity would require so much material and cost astronomically, and you’d still lose most of it due to transmission and conversion losses.

            So there’s going to be plenty of fuel for cars to drive on, since it doesn’t make sense to convert the energy back to electricity again.

    3. “Try carrying a bag of groceries, you can’t” why do you have some kind of deficiency that prevents you from doing this task? You must realise that loads of people shop their groceries on ebikes.

      People that switch will often have some sort of cargo ebike for shopping. But using a backpack is simple. When i want to do some quick shopping it’s to much hassel to take the car so then i just hang the bags on the handlebars. But sure when i do planned runs to the cheaper shopping centers on the outside of town i take the car but really that is just me being lazy. I see loads of people doing their shopping with bikes or public transportation.

  7. The plan is to get everyone out of cars.
    In the future car ownership is going to be a rare thing.
    Tax the hell out of it and force people out of them, starting in cities.

    Wont matter. You wont have a job anyway.
    You’ll be sitting at home on UBI whilst AI does your job for you.
    Eating vegan food because beef pollutes too much.

    Stock up on naplam for the revolution, before they outlaw hydrocarbons.

      1. A lot of people were left unemployed, causing enough misery to start riots.

        The problem is that automation displaces people in productive occupations, leaving only extremely specialized expert jobs where only a tiny fraction of people can qualify.

        The rest of the people essentially have to cheat: they have to do make-work in order to get paid. This means bureaucracy, inventing rules and regulations that demand their labor. Political pork barrel spending. More administrative jobs, more politics, more unnecessary paper pushing, more problem that require problem solvers. Another way people invent jobs for themselves is service and entertainment. “Content”. Everyone’s making some sort of song and dance and demanding to get paid. Yet another is financial gambling. Bitcoins, stock speculation, tulip mania.

        Either way, the point is that people competing for wages by doing pointless work is distorting the entire society to reward people being generally useless. Less than useless, because they are tricking others into consuming more resources in order to catch the spills for themselves.

        The distortion is that a person can now earn a living by playing video games while other people watch. The other people will tell you this is valuable, because they have to define it so in order to legitimize their own uselessness. With nobody doing anything to replace the value they consume, and no connection between real productivity and wages, people keep competing in consumption until not even automation can provide enough. People will be swimming in trivial entertainment and cheaply produced trinkets, trying to sell each other junk that nobody needs – and starving.

        1. The fundamental reason for that is that society requires everyone to have jobs all the time. Make-work is a net negative for society; total happiness would be GREATER if those people were paid the same to do absolutely nothing! But obviously the people who work to get paid won’t stand for that. I’m not sure how you would fix it.

          1. Yes, if the people were paid the same to do absolutely nothing.

            But they won’t do “absolutely nothing”, and when you start paying people for nothing you have to set up a system where nothing is a legitimate reason to get paid. What then determines how much you should be paid? What do you use as a basis for the distribution of wealth? Absolutely nothing – income becomes an issue of politics, which leads to the old saying that democracy is destroyed when people realize they can vote themselves money.

            The result is necessarily a tyranny.

      2. There were production line jobs to make the machines.
        Maintenance engineer jobs to look after them
        An entire revolution in energy came around creating many more jobs

        The problem with AI and robots is that they replace the human not just the job
        Any job a human can do (over time) can be given to a robot
        That’s the difference and it’s a huge one

        1. Simple economic calculation indicates that employing robots while there are people available to do the job is always more costly. This is because you have to keep supporting the idle people while the robots do the work, so you’re spending more resources for the same outcome.

          Automation is only cheaper if it increases the total production of goods and value. If you simply displace existing production with automation, then the cost of your unemployed laborers don’t go away – it just becomes a social issue and someone else’s problem.

          The point for the businesses that do employ automation is that the wages they previously paid directly are now paid in welfare through taxes, so even as the taxes are increased to pay a UBI or something, the costs are socialized while the profits from using the automation remain private.

    1. >You’ll be sitting at home on UBI whilst AI does your job for you.

      Haha that’s what’s normal to believe how future will unfold, call me pessimistic, but I think we’ll have to fight tooth and nail for UBI even if automation does 99% of our jobs. Industrialists are not exactly “people friendly”, to put it lightly.

      1. You wouldn’t want UBI even if you could have it.

        Bear in mind that people on average will do anything to earn more. If they can figure out some wrangle that is not punished by law or social custom, they will use it to improve their living standards.

        How does that work under UBI? Simple: everyone gets paid a living, so a multitude of people get paid multiple times the money. If you can somehow gain access to the UBI of other people, you become rich. This is accomplished by A) forming a mafia that extorts resources from others, B) making babies to form a large extended family dynasty, which shares resources. As long as you sit on top of either pile A or B, you become rich. In other words, UBI encourages either overpopulation or criminal syndicalism.

          1. Not really. It’s just that under a UBI system, you may “farm” the system by raising more kids who all get their own UBI and therefore your family income increases. Therefore, in order to have nice things, you simply breed more people.

            And if you can’t have a family because the state applies some sort of one-child policy then you pool resources otherwise. You syndicate. You form patriarchies and matriarchies where a leader sits on top of a hierarchical power structure and controls the resources – in this case the UBI – collected by the underlings.

            The syndicate can take many forms. A “mafia” of sorts is just one example. Another could be a religious cult, or a corrupt political union that bullies people to join and pay the membership fees. In any case, you will see a lot more of these when people are paid simply for existing instead of earning wages in exchange for labor.

          2. @ Luke

            “It’s just that under a UBI system, you may “farm” the system by raising more kids who all get their own UBI and therefore your family income increases. Therefore, in order to have nice things, you simply breed more people. ”

            This is exactly what happens in many western countries under the welfare systems.
            Since the parents consider their kids to be meal tickets and are too busy ignoring them, their kids are inveitably going to follow their parents footsteps.
            Which only creates more people to claim once the kids reach adulthood.

            An entire group of people that sit below the “working class”
            Will never contribute to society only take/steal from it
            If were anything other than barely human would be considered as parasites or waste.

          1. Because pooling resources is more efficient.

            It’s the same reason why in poor agrarian societies, people stay at home to tend the family farm. Each kid you have produces a small surplus, and pooling the surplus together can get you nice things that you couldn’t afford alone.

            Same thing with the UBI – it’s designed to give you a “basic” income which means enough money to live in some crummy minimal apartment, buy the cheapest foods and wear the cheapest clothes. Maybe they’ll give you a bus pass. Staying at home cuts your expenses a lot, so you can afford nicer things – at the expense of giving part of your surplus to the head of the household who uses you to farm the UBI system.

        1. There’s another reason why you wouldn’t want UBI even if you could have it.

          With an UBI in place, prices will increase to catch the “free” money from people who don’t need it. At the same time, entry level wages will drop because people can accept work at lower salaries and there’s a line of unemployed people around the block to take any position. The result is that a good number of people simply couldnt survive without the UBI because they can’t get a job that pays enough.

          That means the government gains the power to cut you off. If you can’t survive without them, you’ll have to do what simon says. You have to support the government, no matter what they do. This is already true to an extent in the nordic welfare societies, where one in four people get their income from the state, directly or indirectly, by being on welfare, working in the welfare system, or being otherwise employed through public spending. In Sweden for example, the state public spending is already larger than the entire private sector in terms of GDP.

          Imagine what that does to democracy.

      2. I was being sarcastic.

        Two problems with UBI

        1) It causes inflation and zero sum
        2) It’s essentially just welfare with a pretty name

        UBI does not address the fact that western society has a social underclass which is quite content to live off wealfare and a corrupt system which allows them to get away with it.
        In developing countries you work or you starve
        That ethos is partially why people there work to better themselves becasue there isn’t much choice

        Over here where economies are stagnating, people are happy to live off the state and have a comfortable life with big TV’s, cars, free housing etc
        You’ve also got a segment of society that apologises for such people saying they have a hard life – just because they cant themselves understand their mentality
        Which allows them to continue to take from the rest of us and thsoe apologists are too arrogant and ignorant to understand those people are laughing at them for enabling them.

        UBI would only serve to normalise that behaviour when we should be cleaning up society.

    2. If AI and robots take over all jobs, who will pay for anything they are producing? The vast majority will only have UBI, and UBI will not be that much…
      Unless the iPhone 20 costs USD 20, or less…

      1. Once you have robots and AI that can make anything for you, including more robots, why would you need to sell iPhones to people? What would you do with the money when you don’t need to buy labor and pay wages anymore?

        1. That’s exact my point. The owner of any industry NEEDS to pay people, so people will buy from them, paying MORE than what is cost to build whatever he is selling.

          If no company pays anyone anymore, nobody will have how to buy anything anyway. So what’s the point of building things?

          1. You forget that money is not wealth. It’s a means of trade.

            In a scenario where labor is totally displaced by automation, there is no need to trade. The only thing you need is land and natural resources, so your robots can build you anything YOU want – not what other people want.

            The other people can go hang, because you don’t need their labor, you don’t need their money, and they don’t have anything to trade with you. The only thing they can give you is their titles to any land they might own, so you can have access to the raw resources, and after you have seized control of all the land then all the people are just pointless vagabonds and tresspassers to the class of people who own the automation.

  8. The EU ‘citizens’ should not worry too much about the effectiveness of Brussels They are inept. To wit:

    0. Publishing directives where the listed harmonized standards are obsolete and/or have been rejected by notified bodies.

    1. Publishing directives with effective dates having no discernible list of harmonized standards, thus no way to comply or to write a declaration of conformity.

    2. Requiring declarations of conformity to have information and formats that contradict ISO17050-1/-2.

    3. No system to provide any method of public comment for or reporting of non-conforming products that originate from within the EU. (someone will cite article 25 and others, but show me where member states have ever used this).

    4. Inconsistent enforcement of product safety and EMC regulations by import authorities. Have you ever wondered why some Mediterranean states are used by Asian and North American companies to import stuff going to Germany and Northern EU states?

    5. Incorrect and/or incomplete technical interpretations (per the national differences in safety and EMC standards) that have been deprecated per the IEC standards committee.

    I could go on, and the reader would die of boredom, but trust me, the NoM, NRTL, and SCC peoples are nowhere near the level of ignorance and uncaring attitudes found in the Brussels (EU) governance of technology

      1. Some Background for no-EU peoples (and for the record, I am a citizen of the U.S.A.).

        0. Directives have to incorporated by each EU member into their national laws.
        1. Regulations and rulings coming out of the EU government located in Brussels become effective for all EU members, regardless of national law, per the published date in the text.
        2. National implementation of regulations per EU regulations disallows contradictory measures; that is, member states and their local governments can not make regulations that contradict EU law.
        3. Brussels (the EU governance body, not the city), has existing stuff and has proposed more ‘commerce’ regulations where the impact to both business and the environment shall be considered. Per some proposed legislations, both Dublin and Tallinn have been notified that some of their country’s local regulations may be contradictory and risk having conflicts where a Brussels court would hear arguments.

        So, ya get my gist? Where union, or national, or local – The EU is a wonderfully ineffective organization such that stuff flows from the top to the bottom. Something is not quite right when an ignorant backwoods yank has to explain things to an erudite and well-educated European.

        Please pass me another round of ammo, as I see a squirrel in the tree for the stew, and give me another beer while I bask in my insular ignorance. Burrrp.

  9. Globally there are 100 companies which are responsible for 71% of all global emissions.

    But please tell normal people to stop using fossil fuels and eating meat because they’re too polluting

    1. What?! and miss the opportunity to rebrand our products as “green” and make you buy everything again because you don’t understand the lifecycle cost of a product? :-)

      Three simple rules: consume, conform & obey.

    2. It’s not like we’d get rid of 71% of emissions by getting rid of those companies though. The ‘work’ (whatever it is) they’re doing will get done either by another company or by many other companies. We have to make it economically infeasible to pollute when there’s a better option.

          1. It’s standard thinking for these people. The only way the government can make you do something is by threatening to either fine you or imprison you if you don’t do it. The only way they can force you to pay a fine is by either taking your stuff (and preventing you from preventing them from doing so) or by imprisoning you if you don’t give it up voluntarily. The only way they can prevent you from preventing them from doing so is by imprisoning you if you try. So it all comes down to imprisonment. And how do we imprison people? By arresting them. With force. Therefore, all laws are violence.

            It’s technically correct – the worst kind of correct.

          2. The point is actually that there isn’t a universal “we” – the society is not one homogenous organism with a single will and a single common interest that would apply equally to all. Whenever you define a “we”, you also define a “them”, and that definition is arbitrary. Whenever people claim to be working for the good of all, they’re basically lying to themselves and others. There’s always winners and losers in this scenario.

            It’s just a question of who do you throw under the bus – and who should have the right to choose. If you want the authority to make people do things, you have to justify why you and not the other guys. Why your rules?

            That’s the point of “all law is violence”. It’s pointing out the hypocrisy of treating society and government as a tool to make other people do things your way. You wouldn’t want to be on the other end of the stick either, but you’ll happily wield it if it happens to land in your hands.

          3. Kids in the school yard. “Get out of my way, I want to get through” other kid “Oh yeah? Make me!”

            China in the South China Sea. Cargo ship “We want though here. Move your destroyer and quit making those fake islands out here.” China “Make me.”

            And there is a difference between a stop sign and property taxes. One is on community property.

      1. You dont get rid of them as someone ele takes their place.
        You mkae them and all companeis responsible for the real product life cycle of what they produce
        and you tax the hell out of any waste
        This hits their bottom line and thus they will make their changes
        But you need to start sending CEO’s to prison to have any effect

        Problem is the USA doesn’t beleive in regulation.
        it believes in free market
        Which is ironic, since the so called free market uses all sorts of devices to strangle free trade and setup closed shops and monopolies where ever it can get away with it

        1. “Which is ironic, since the so called free market uses all sorts of devices to strangle free trade and setup closed shops and monopolies where ever it can get away with it”

          It can’t if it is a free market. How do you have a monopoly in a free market? Yes, most of us believe (or it used to be most of us) in a free market. We don’t have one by far, but we want one.

          Free markets don’t make more waste and pollution than the public is free to choose. As I’m sure you know, customers can choose based on many factors other than price, which also means you can complete on the basis of many factors other then price. And of course, holding people, private or public, responsible for damage they do is part of any civilized system.

    3. Yeah, no kidding. I’m from the second generation of people who have grown up being told that everything they do, and everything they are, is wrong, even though we look at our accusers and see that they are doing the same things as us, or (sometimes) are more egregious offenders than us.
      I’m all for sound solutions for ecological sustainability, but only where it makes sense.
      Where I live, an all electric car would take two days to get from one town to another. Town, not city.
      On another note, forcing people’s hands with draconian laws will only lead to them pushing back. Humans are naturally rebellious, and insolent Americans (like myself) are doubly so. If you tell them they can’t have something, they will fight to have it, sometimes even if they never cared about it in the first place.

  10. “Brussels” is absolutely not an official name within the EU. The institutions in charge are the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council – by the way the European Parliament has also headquarters in Strasbourg and the European Court of Justice headquarters are in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. “Brussels” is mostly used to designate the European institutions by the press. It’s also an easy way for national governments to bash European policies even if each EU country designates a member of the European Commission and if members of the European Council are ministers from national governments except its President.

  11. All these wealthy elitists pushing to eliminate private transport need to be dumped in the middle of Montana and told “You don’t need cars. Find your way to somewhere. Nobody is going to stop and pick you up.”

    1. Montana is not Brussels.

      Unless things changed lately, I believe Montana is a little larger. And have somewhat colder winter. And is just a bit less densely populated. And “somewhere” can mean a handful more places than in Brussels. Larger area, you know…

    2. The elitists will just pull out their Sat-phones and call their buddies (or pilots) in Jackson, Wyoming to bring the jet or chopper to leave without a car. Jackson is where many of them go to ski and have houses there. The elitists “people” will pick them up.

    3. And Montana is pretty small and crowded compared to Australia

      I like the thought of having something electric to run around town, but it’s useless once you leave town – I quite often have to watch where the petrol stations are in my car (which does about 900km/tank) – something with only 400km range would be unworkable out in the rural areas of Aus.

      1. You are in Australia, right? Just look up and you will see giant ball of hot gasses called Sun.

        With it, you can power solar panels on your roof. And they can charge your battery …

        1. Yes they can! And I can drive the car around town with it! But I can’t go driving in the country unless I want to stop every few hours for a long long break to charge my car via a solar panel I’ll have to have on the roof..
          We don’t have the density for country recharging stations – and it takes too long to charge anyway – and doing 400km in a day and charging overnight (needed without a fast charging station) would be a very very slow way to travel around…

          So fine for city driving, not so fine for country driving. Which means owning two cars for anyone who needs to do country as well as city..

        2. Nice, but not working idea. With the 10m² at max you could mount on a car, you get 2kW peak. You could drive 50km/day.
          To charge a car while driving you need about 30kW. That means 150m² of PV panels. How do you think to put them on a car? You can’t drive with a 150m² sunroof. :-) They also weigh about a ton (1000kg) extra.

          1. sorry, I was being Australian ie sarcastic.
            I know I can’t do it with a panel on the roof of the car, that was the point I was making ie that there was no realistic alternative.. :-)

        1. You are mostly slower with public transport. You have to wait and often change lines and your target often is not at the station.
          This is exactly that left-green attitude to force people to waste their time in public transport. I hate it. And I bought a motorcycle this year to have an alternative to drive to work, because they already restricted parking and made the fees so expensive, that you also do not want to have your car parked in the street for 8h.
          Gasoline driven, not electric – just because an electric one would be 3 times more expensive if it has decent power.

        2. But why “should have good public transport”? Ventures like Uber, Lyft, and whomever can surely replaced it and do a better job. They are also flexible as far as demand and routes. Light rail doesn’t serve a city, it creates a ridged barrier to change. If for some reason you NEED subways and elevated trains and the local people are willing to pay for it, sure. But trolleys, cable cars, and bus lines were private in the US until well meaning characters in local government decided they were not serving enough deserving areas. They either bought the companies lines, or forced them into bankruptcy. Of course, those under served areas were under served because there was practically no ridership. Once the transport was public the courts said they have to serve everyone. Thus a wasteful stupid system that runs amok with trains to nowhere at a $million every 10 feet, tunnels at a $million a foot.

        3. A huge amount of the USA is comprised of towns with 5,000 or fewer people, spaced pretty far apart. There’s zero chance of such low population density ever having any kind of mass transit.

          We have a small number of quite large cities where mass transit makes sense, and it’s there in most of them. But for the majority of the country there’s no need, nor possibility or practicality of it, yet these ivory tower city dwellers who ignore everything outside the borders of large cities figure that nobody needs private transport.

      1. He also said, in an interview with Reader’s Digest, that nobody needs more than 200 million dollars. Did he then set about reducing his personal net worth to “only” $200M. Of course not.

  12. My home town city has tries the streets-to-pedestrian thing 3 times in last 50 years, to revitalize old core districts. Businesses are enticed to move into the new plaza areas and fail shortly after. People just do not want to buy and carry to a distant car or take purchased items on public transport. In the end there are only shops that are like kiosks in mall. They sell small items of jewelry or sunglasses or phone accessories. Complete failure every time, accept as a gathering place for young people looking fr fun or trouble.

    1. What City would that be? I ask, as I would like to forward the results of this to our City officials who are content to slowly restrict vehicles into our Downtown core. Apparently the exodus of businesses and numerous office towers being vacant does not seem to register with them.

      1. Tacoma, WA. It even once had trolleys and the same cable car system as San Francisco, which was removed in the name of progress and the City taking over that kind of transportation. Also escalator strips one block long to go up and down a steeper section. I think now they are a concrete tunnel to get mugged in. The most recent remake was called Broadway Plaze IIRC. There is also a 70 year history of arson for city planning.

    2. Same here. In downtown, on some streets that were onced touted as ‘big sidewalks”, most of the important stores moved to shopping centers, or other places in the city. What remained are mostly little stores selling chinese crap, or even local crap ( clothes and etc of dubious quality ) , and people most walk through there to get from some bus stop to others, and also they are recommended to pay attention to their wallets and belongings.

      Many places moved out due to transit laws and the like : if you need to get to some doctor, some people cannot go by bus, or walk a long distance. No places to park cars, not enough buses, etc.

      What that brussel people need isn´t to inconvenience people, but to make things work good enough that transportation is easy and short. If one needs to move a lot of blocks to find a supermarket, or drugstore, or a bank, then the problem is not with the cars, but with the city administration.

      1. I think it works better if you only do this to some streets. Leave a mix of pedestrian-only streets *and* vehicle streets. Nobody wants to have to walk ages to get to a store, but nobody wants to have to keep crossing roads either.

        Like, imagine if all the east-west streets in a small area were closed to traffic, but not the north-south streets.

        1. Imagine if the streets were all closed off for pedestrians to allow cars to drive freely in any direction.

          Imagine if there were walkways and bridges over the streets connecting every city block, and the pedestrians would all walk on the second floor inside the buildings and on open decks built across the streets below. All you have to do is move one floor up, and both get all the surface area of the city.

          But no. You have to ban cars.

          1. The cost of closing every other street is gridlock and loss of revenue for the downtown businesses because their customers stop coming when they can’t get in and out of the city center. It’s also terribly inconvenient because then people have to circle around the entire city if they need to go one street east-west instead of north-south. The pedestrians would still be crossing driving streets to get around, while the cars wouldn’t cross pedestrian streets because they’re not allowed.

    3. Sounds very much like a ‘different strokes for different folks’ situation. Around these parts the best shopping districts all have pedestrian only middles, with parking around the outsides. There are out of town shopping areas as well, of course.

  13. Buying H2 from other nations who strip it from natural gas is the same sort of “pollution” hiding that has ravaged some parts of China. Green washing by outsourcing your guilt. Don’t be naive folks, always follow the matter right back to the very source and look and all of the process inputs too as well as any disposal implications in any part of the supply chain. In this case it is just as well that CO2 does not cause harm and that smog is due to bad exhaust management and not the fuel itself.

    1. Or just screw it. You are never going to get cooperation from Russia, China, India, etc. Buy land in Edmonton or even Yellowknife, and Siberia. It will all become a breadbasket if any of this actually comes true, which I doubt. People who model with simple differential equations always get exponential growth or decay.

  14. Funny/sad to see so many here with their panties bunching over this announcement. (And also the ignorance about what SBI really is.)

    “… as soon as 2035” – that’s the key. There’s so much that will happen between now and then. Electric cars could come on strong, and it will be a moot point by then. Or, if not, Brussels will back off or extend the deadline.

    But sooner or later, the fossil-fuel powered personal car will become a fossil itself. The carmakers know this is coming. Even the Saudis are starting to diversify. Many big cities are just about impassable during the day due to traffic. Not to forget polluted. Something’s gotta change.

    1. Ya know, I was kind of enjoying the back and forth over the topics discussed and the presentation of people’s divergent thoughts without being attacked. Then your comment about “panties bunching” comes along. Not needed. Perhaps you could explain to us ignorants what SBI is if you can.

      1. There’s a marked difference between honestly debating the merits of something, and just using it as a springboard for a partisan rant about ‘elitists’ and environazis etc. You enjoy that?

        SBI is miles off-topic. Question the folks who dragged it in as part of their anti-green grandstanding.

    2. It is possible, that fossil fuel will be substituted with electricity. But I don’t understand, why an electric car, beeing able to drive autonomously or not, should not be a personal car? The “personal” part is an important aspect of the private car. You can go shopping and leave your stuff in it. You have exactly your stuff in it the next morning, you left there in the evening.

      1. It’s just a rider that comes along with anti-capitalism. Private car ownership represents economic choice and free markets, which are considered a bad thing by people who believe they can plan and execute the whole thing better through collective micromanagement of society.

  15. Comrades, the progress requires us to ban all humans. Not only motorized, but everyone (except of the Party of course). Don’t you see, that it’s the evil humans that robbed the ground from Earth and Nature to build their stinky cities ? They enslave and exploit countless plants and animals for their own sake. We start small in Brussels, but aim big. ¡No pasarán!

  16. ” High levels of nitrogen oxides as well as particulate pollution cause respiratory health problems,leading to thousands of deaths worldwide. ”

    Thousands, that’s for a day, for a year it’s more millions…

    The personal car is in a dead end street.
    Every one owns at least two cars “American dream” is a creation of Ford and Exxon and their friends, I live in a small town (Paris, France) and, at 52 years old, I DON’T EVEN HAVE A DRIVING LICENCE !
    And I never regret that choice of living.
    Every day, I ride my recumbent human powered vehicle to go to work, 25 minutes only for 8 Km, twice a day, it can carry with no problems about 30 kg, but I also have a trailer for 35 more (that’s for the grocery).
    For a car, it would need 30 minutes… at night, but a 8 AM, at least an hour, and by bus and subway, at least 45 minutes.
    The bicycle is the most efficient human transportation device.
    My vehicles weight 1/6 th or 1/4 th (a carbon frame or a stainless steel frame) of my body, why the hell would I need something weighting tons, to move my ass ? An average f.. SUV weights about a hundred times more than my most heavy bike, it sound crazy to me !
    The electric car is not any solution : they’re too many people in towns.

    Here’s a very interesting PDF : https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10067532/1/RH_OTR2_final.pdf from Robin Hickman.
    If you look at the Fig. 2 Adult obesity and the motorisation rate, 2014, the US of A are way up full fat nation…

    1. Glad you enjoy your choice of lifestyle
      It makes sense for you
      Elsewhere it wouldn’t
      Which is why some people choose to have cars(s)

      But appreciate you live in Paris so understand your slight communist leanings on deciding what’s best for all

        1. No, you are for sure no anarchist – you live exactly the lifestyle the current left-green parties require and want in their “best case” the whole population to adopt.
          No. A vehicle has to have an engine (or electric motor). We invented this, to overcome the limitations of pure muscle power and we must not accept political currents which try to send us back into the pre-industrial stone age.

          1. The motorized vehicle – great idea. And one that’s some 130 years old. Great for transporting people and goods further than they could manage otherwise. Not such a great idea for moving lots of people in and around large cities, and cities that have been optimized for the automobile have proven to be less than optimum for anything else, such as living in.

            Modern cities need modern solutions, not a doubling down on an inefficient 130 year-old technology.

          2. True that the motor vehicle as we know it today is 130 (more like 105) year old concept. But the way cities handle cars is 200 years old or more. The streets are still set up like horse avenues. There are still street level sidewalks, originally meant to keep the horse shit off your shoes and clothes. There is usually parallel parking, which is really bad. And lots of space is restricted for buses, emergency vehicles, etc.

            There are places in Chinese cities where you really can walk on the second level right through all the shops on a block – and be in AC the whole time. You might even exit the building onto the upper level platform of stairs and escalator for a walkway over the freeway where you can enter another building or descend to street level or maybe the underground. Unfortunately, it comes along with a dictatorship and social scoring that can restrict you movements.

  17. smog? kidding, right?
    cities air has never been so clean since literally centuries. at least in the civilized world.
    all this is nonsense, a massive scam from a disconnected elite who does not give a skit about the people they claim to serve. this is all about money, power and control.
    such measures will have disastrous economic consequences.
    i moved out of the madness called cities long time ago, and not going back. i dont need cities.
    ” High levels of nitrogen oxides as well as particulate pollution cause respiratory health problems,leading to thousands of deaths worldwide. ”
    lol. so life expectancy in cities should be a lot less, right? breathing all the time that deadly mix of NOx and “particulate”, whatever it is, right? well, it isnt. it is actually higher. people in cities live longer than in the countryside. but who bothers looking at data? dont ever let stuff like data or reality in the way of a good story.
    environazi are worse than hitler and stalin. hitler and stalin stopped at millions. environazi want to kill billions.
    some might decide otherwise, tho.

  18. To put this in perspective:
    Brussels is a city that has not been able to comply with the EU air-quality levels, which are well above WHO standards of air-quality. This is because of the EU argument that reaching those levels should not be damaging the economic growth.
    Brussels is a dense city, as most EU cities, with lots of street-canyons, which traps lots of car pollutants.
    Brussels is by far not the only city with a low emission zone. Look at measures in Paris, London, Athens, Rome, …
    Brussels plan is not very ambitious compared to those of London or Paris.

    I’m living in Brussels for about 8 years now, I left the city center because of air- and noice-pollution due to car traffic. Brussels is a special case due to specific demographics, the subsidised car-ownership in Belgium and bad public transport. These measures are necessary evil to make this city more liveable.

    Brussels will still have problems after this Low Emission Zone is installed, because electric cars still roll on rubber and they still have brakes who are the cause of fine dust.
    Second, most of households in Brussels are heated by gas boilers who are a big contributor to NOx.
    Third, most of fine dust peaks originates from the excessive use of fertilisers around Brussels.

    I might be biast running a civic science group called influencair that helped to install about 300 particulate matter sensors in Brussels. I’m not per se a big fan of the low emission zone because it hits the poorest part of our society in their pockets. But I’m pro governmental regulations because it creates a level field for entrepreneurial endeavours, to do something about it.

    1. ” gas boilers who are a big contributor to NOx”

      Low pressure burners in heating boilers does not produce NOx. You need high pressure to make nitrogen “burn”.

      What you do get is CO, CH, and SO2 emissions due to badly adjuster burners and dirty gas supply.

      1. I can’t imagine that the gas supply is that dirty to produce SO2. It is not too difficult to desulfurize the gas and the sulfur containing impurities increase corrosion on the pipes – avoiding that corrosion is another incentive for the gas supplier to clean the gas.

        1. They add odorizers to the gas supply so people would smell the leaks. These compounds contain sulfur, so there’s always at least trace amounts of it present. Gas from waste processing may also contain large amounts of sulfur bearing compounds.

          They only remove the corrosive ones that react easily. The non-reactive species are left in the gas supply, as all they will do is make the gas smell bad, which is good, until its burned and it turns bad again.

  19. For some reason this brought the movie The Last Chase comes to mind https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Chase . Ironically the movie portrays California being the champion of motor vehicles, perhaps not that ironic, because that fiction was produced California by far was one of the States that was more reliant on motor vehicles. So many of the comments where tired old pat boiler plate arguments. While I can’t recall the line verbatim it does this way; the only constant about change is everything changes. Adapt or be left behind, I suppose.

    1. I’ve seen that movie. After a viral pandemic causes the collapse of society, a dictatorial US government bans all personal vehicles to conserve oil, which is going to run out real soon (but not really). California breaks away as a Free Republic and has “Radio Free California” urging people to come and enjoy the freedom. The movie was produced in 1981, set in 2011. Oi, yet another SF movie that’s become alternate history!

      Lee Majors is a race driver who hid his race car under the floor in his garage. He plans to flee to California. A genius student figures this out and ends up tagging along. The government wants to stop them and has a retired Air Force pilot (Burgess Meredith) to hunt them down with a F-86 Saber.

      OK, sure. Why not something somewhat more modern? Were there any retired Vietnam era fighter jets in private hands in 1981?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Chase

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