Denmark has revealed plans to ban the sale of new fossil fuelled cars by 2030, as part of what is being described as a policy “u-turn” that aims to put one million electric vehicles on Danish roads by the same date.

The ban on new petrol and diesel car sales was presented to Parliament on Wednesday, after being announced by energy minister, Lars Chr. Lilleholt during the government’s climate council last week.

It follows what is more or less an identical commitment from Israel, with a 2030 ban on ICE cars to be complemented by massive tax reductions for electric cars sold there.

In a speech to parliament, Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said that “diesel and petrol cars … must be the past,” and even suggested that hybrids would also be phased out by 2035.

“In just 12 years, we will prohibit the sale of new diesel and petrol cars. And in 17 years, every new car in Denmark must be an electric car or other forms of zero-emissions car,” he said.

And, like Israel, the government has also announced plans to defer or decrease registration taxes for EVs, while increasing subsidies to make buying them more affordable.

As Bloomberg notes, this move marks a complete u-turn for the Rasmussen government, which in the recent past scrapped an EV incentive scheme – a move that saw EV sales in Denmark go from 4,762 in 2015, to 1,438 in 2016, and then 913 in 2017.

“I’m convinced that many Danes want to drive a green car if it’s affordable,” Tax Minister Karsten Lauritzen said in a statement. “So we want to support that development.”

Indeed, the evidence tells us this is the case, particularly from nearby Norway, where government incentives, support for infrastructure and tax breaks have helped deliver record EV uptake.

In 2017, 39 per cent of new cars registered in Norway were electric vehicles, compared to just 0.4 per cent of the market in Denmark in that year.

Denmark has also targeted making its electricity sector 100 per cent fossil fuel free by 2050 – in line, as it would happen, with the latest IPCC climate report.

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