The Federal Council of Germany, known as the Bundesrat, has passed a proposal to stop sales of combustion-engine cars by 2030. The legislative body has urged the European Commission (EC) to implement the ban across the 28 member states of the European Union (EU).
Considering Germany’s proven influence over the EU’s decision-making, the measure has a real possibility of being adopted. German Green politician, Oliver Krischer, said the resolution is necessary for countries to take the Paris agreement seriously.
If met with approval, people would have to buy plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCV) from 2030 onwards. Those working in automotive assembly plants would also have to look for a new job.
Switching to zero-emission cars would mean thousand of layoffs only in the German auto industry. The powertrain of electric vehicles requires a tenth of the staff for assembly in comparison to those powered by a combustion engine.
Why does Germany want to ban combustion-cars?
The German council’s push for the 2030 ban means they do not want to keep relying on financial incentives to ensure a global change to pollution-free cars. However, the body has also asked the EC to review its promotion policies of greener vehicles.
Currently 15 of the 28 member states of the EU offer tax incentives for PEVs, FCVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). They consist of tax reductions, exemptions, and bonus payments for buyers of such cars.
In April 2016, Germany introduced a new incentive scheme. PEV buyers get a $4,520 discount while buyers of PHEVs get a $3,390 cut. The government and automakers share the cost of the plan in equal measure.
The EC also implemented the EU Transport Roadmap in March 2011. It aims to achieve a 60% cut in carbon dioxide emissions of vehicles by 2050. The reduction could happen much sooner with the 2030 proposal.
California wants a million EV on the road by 2023
Since 2009, the United States has also granted tax credits for PEVs as well as lower federal tax credits for converted plug-ins. The total amount of credit allowed for a PEV is $7,500. In 2010, President Barack Obama promised that American roads would have 1 million PEVs by 2015.
Six years later, the plan still has a long way to go. However, in September 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown made a similar statement. He vowed to place at least 1 million cars (between zero-emission vehicles and near-zero-emission vehicles) on Californian roads by January 1, 2023.