City of Amsterdam and Combustion Engines

a featured image had an article about Copenhagen banning combustion engines in the city, starting 2030: (Article in German ). So I had to check what is the current state in Amsterdam.

Current state

The Netherlands has a central register for license plates. It is public, and anyone can check. There are many places that allow you to do that for car, not owner data. For example .

The city of Amsterdam also allows you to check if a given license plate is allowed to enter the cities milieuzone. You can check yourself . And so can any license plate scanner.

In the overview page for the milieuzone, the city helpfully explains:

Let op: dat u de Milieuzone mag inrijden betekent niet dat u ook in aanmerking komt voor een parkeervergunning.

Attention: Note that being allowed to enter the Environmental Zone does not mean you are also eligible for a parking permit.

After 2030

The rules for the milieuzone are becoming stricter starting 2025 , and by 2030 no combustion engines are being allowed in the city at all.

  • NL-wide license plate check for commercial vehicles .
  • New lorries will need to be electric starting 2025 to be allowed into the city.
    Existing lorries will have to be Euro 6 or better. There are some more rules for easing the changeover. Starting 2030, no lorries with combustion engines are allowed into the city.
  • Small commercial delivery vehicles (vans, Sprinters) with Diesel must be Euro 4 or better already. New cars must be electric starting 2025. Euro 5 is required starting 2027, Euro 6 starting 2028, no combustion starting 2028.
  • Bus lines are in the process of being converted to electric, and this is nearly complete. It will be finished by 2025. Rules for charter buses are to follow.
  • Taxis electric starting 2025. Tax incentives and better starting places as well as priority for parking and taxi licenses are provided already. This is going well, most Taxis are electric already.
  • Scooters (25 km/h and 45 km/h) must be electric by 2025. Get a pedelec, maybe?
  • Ships (tourist and transport) must be electric by 2025. Ferries over the river Ij are already being converted. 70% rebate for harbor fees for electric ships right now.
  • Cars must be Euro 4 or better right now. Only electric cars are allowed into the city by 2030.

Important advice

Scanautos are being used to automatically enforce parking rules inside the city. They are checking around 800x more effective than an unaugmented parking enforcement human.

In Amsterdam, most major streets do not allow you to park on public ground. Side streets often have only a limited number of public parking spots, the others require a residential parking permit. Parking in parking structures or in the street costs around 50 Euro/day if you find a space.

Parking permits are not shown on the dashboard, and similarly, parking violations are not ticketed in paper behind the windshield wiper. Instead, everything is based on automated license plate scanning: Enter your license plate at the parking fee collector terminal, the scanauto will countercheck what it scanned with the central database.

Enforcement is automatic , and the coverage is excellent. If you do not pay, or overpark, you will be caught.

That will cost you at minimum 72.90 Euros in punishment, plus fees, plus the unpaid parking fee. In total this usually ends up between 110 Euros and 150 Euros . The target for processing (between parking violation and notification) is officially two days. But it often is “while you still park” (20 minutes or less), so near realtime. This has the effect of ruining whatever you are currently doing in the city, so just park legally.

S106, Overtoom. A major inroad into the city. Note how this is one lane per direction, and no parking at the side.

The cheapest way to do that is to park at a Park and Ride , and then take the tram or subway into the city. Or just use the bus, tram, subway or train, starting at your door.

The city does not believe into building roads to places that have more capacity than can be parked at the destination. So most major inroads into Amsterdam are single lane. Not only will you not be able to park in the city. Most likely, you will also hate every minute of getting there before you have to turn around. Be sensible, use OV.


Map of electric charge points in Amsterdam

So for anybody but private individual transport, Amsterdam will be fully electric by 2025, and the final conversion will take another 5 years. This is not an unrealistic goal. If you walk through the city, you can see how the conversion is already in full swing at an amazing and still increasing speed.

The city has built the required infrastructure in terms of charge points already, and provides maps to prove it.

But individual motorized transport does not scale to a city with the density of Amsterdam. Cities are for humans, not for cars, and Amsterdam makes it very clear that cars are not welcome. Use public transport to get around in Amsterdam. That is already fully electric, and except for the buses always has been.