Thursday, 17 August 2017

Germany`s Plans to Catch-up With E-car and Hydrogen Vehicels - `Alles Diesel, oder was?`


The scandal about manipulations of Diesel-emissions by German car-manufacturers made headlines around the globe. Among its  legacy, however, are incentives for German car-consumers to switch to electric vehicles and hydrogen cars. There is also a plan to introduce a binding e-car quota in Germany.

Car manufacturers like Volkswagen, Daimler and others manipulated the emissions from their Diesel cars over years. To discuss a way out of `Dieselgate`, the major manufacturers involved met with Chancellor Merkel on 2 August. A number of regulatory measures were agreed upon at the meeting
(https://www.bundesregierung.de/Content/DE/Artikel/2017/08/2017-08-02-nationales-forum-diesel.html). These include software updates by manufacturers for some cars, the establishment of a `sustainable mobility in the city`- programme, supporting municipalities an increase of money for other programmes that tackle greenhouse gas and other emissions. The results of the summit have been criticized by NGOs (http://www.dw.com/en/dieselgate-green-group-grumbles-over-mickey-mouse-summit/a-40106902) as insufficient.


Among the measures that have been agreed is also a committment of German car-manufacturers to pay a take-back premium to consumers if they exchange their old cars for newer ones with less greenhouse gas emissions. To get the highest amount of financial support available from manufacturers, consumers have to buy a new e-car (http://www.focus.de/auto/news/abgas-skandal/diesel-umtauschpraemien-bmw-ford-vw-opel-mercedes-toyota-das-zahlen-die-autobauer_id_7428795.html). In addition, Mercedes-Benz pledged to introduce 100 hydrogen fuelling stations for H2-cars by 2023 (https://www.autoblog.com/2013/10/02/daimler-others-promise-100-hydrogen-stations-in-four-years/).


However, Martin Schulz (the candidate of the Social-Democratic Party that wants to replace Angela Merkel as Federal Chancellor in the next German general elections on 24 September) recently backed the introduction of a binding quota for e-cars in Germany (https://www.tagesschau.de/inland/e-auto-quote-101.html), without, however, specifying percentages. This is a reaction to the European Commission`s red light on e-car quotas: a spokesperson of the Commission said on 7 August that the Commission does not want to introduce a EU-wide electric car quota, to avoid meddling with technology-competition and to stick to its stance of technology-neutrality (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-swiss-eu-carbontrading-idUSKCN1AW1EI).

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