05 Nov 2020, 14:14
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany remains odd one out as more and more countries announce combustion engine bans

Focus Online

Contrary to many countries and major cities around the world, Germany has not yet announced plans to phase out combustion engines in passenger cars, the news website Focus Online writes. Countries like Norway, Belgium, India, the Netherlands, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, the UK, France, Spain and the US state of California all have set concrete dates in the next two decades, when partial or complete bans on combustion engine-powered passenger cars will take effect. Large cities in Europe, such as London, Rome or Amsterdam, have also announced plans to ban combustion engine cars by 2030, the article says. While Germany's Climate Action Programme says that the transport sector is supposed to largely abandon fossil fuels by 2050, it doesn't prescribe a clear pathway. Some politicians and automakers argue that combustion engines could be used with renewables-based fuels on a larger scale. However, Bavaria's state premier and head of the conservative CSU, Markus Söder, and Dirk Messner, head of Germany's Federal Environment Agency (UBA), have both called for banning new registrations of conventional cars by 2035, while the Green Party has even opted for a ban starting five years earlier. Even though several German cities have active bans on diesel cars, partly as a consequence of the dieselgate scandal, a clear exit plan for combustion engine cars is nowhere to be seen, the article says. "Ultimately, an EU-wide regulation could become decisive for Germany, although so far that doesn't exist," Focus reports.

Germany's government plans to drastically increase the number of e-cars on the road over the next ten years through generous support premiums for customers and an expansion of the required charging infrastructure. However, despite the country's largest car company, Volkswagen, having decided to make its passenger cars fully electric over the next years, Germany's automotive sector still remains heavily tilted towards combustion engines and many supplier companies regard their future as hinging on finding a way to make combustion engines climate-neutral by using synthetic fuels.

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