German transport minister proposes billions for e-cars, railway and cleaner trucks
Seven million electric and hybrid cars by 2030, longer freight trains, cleaner trucks, use of advanced biofuels, electric buses and more bicycles lanes are to bring Germany closer to reaching its emissions-reduction targets in the transport sector, according to a draft proposal of the federal transport ministry (BMVI) seen by the Süddeutsche Zeitung. A week before the German government's climate cabinet meets to make key climate action decisions, transport minister Andreas Scheuer is proposing billions of euros in government support to enable the transition in the sector. The ministry draft includes an increase in the buyer's premium especially for lower-cost e-cars. The ministry also wants to lower the value-added tax on train tickets, increase the frequency of long-distance and underground trains and trams, and make every other bus in German cities electric by 2030. An upgrade of German national railways to make space for more passenger trains will cost up to 20 billion euros, the transport ministry estimates.
The proposals will feed into the final talks of chancellor Angela Merkel's climate cabinet, which has promised concrete decisions on climate action for 20 September. Germany aims to cut transport emissions 40 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, but is yet to make any progress towards this target. This will be "a herculean task for both you and us,” Chancellor Merkel recently told the auto industry during her opening speech at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. If Germany does not succeed in cutting transport emissions, the country risks having to pay substantial fines to the EU.