Germany Pushes For All New Cars To Be Zero Emissions By 2030

JUN 16 2016 BY MARK KANE 32

BMW i3

BMW i3

Strict emission regulations and long-term goals to lower CO2 emission by 95% by 2050 puts Germany on a position where only massive adoption of zero-emission cars is the solution.

According to media reports, on this path Germany could allow only the sale of zero-emission cars by 2030.

“Germany’s pledge to cut carbon dioxide output by 80 per cent to 95 per cent by 2050 will be in jeopardy unless the country radically reduces transportation pollution, said Deputy Economy Minister Rainer Baake. Since cars typically have a 20-year lifespan, registrations of new diesel and gasoline cars needs to be cut over the next 15 years, he said.”

Transportation is responsible for abouth fifth of the country’s carbon dioxide pollution.

The first step to help plug-ins takeoff are recently launched incentives (that hopefully go into effect shortly this month after a ‘failure-to-launch’ moment in late May), which should increase market share from about 0.6% to somewhere above 2%.

The incentives include:

  • a subsidy of €4,000 for all-electric cars and €3,000 for plug-in hybrids
  • exemption from paying vehicle tax for ten years (previously five years)
  • reduced tax rate of 25 percent on electricity for charging electric cars at work by employees

2016 began in Germany with about 130,000 hybrid and 25,000 all-electric cars registered (~50,000 plug-ins overall), which is a tiny fraction of 30 million gasoline cars and 14.5 million diesels on the road currently.

source: The Globe and Mail

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32 Comments on "Germany Pushes For All New Cars To Be Zero Emissions By 2030"

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Let’s hope that this statement becomes a law as soon as possible

I’m not sure that is needed, I belive the market alone will do much about it the coming years especially now then Volkswagen have announced that they will introduce 30 new BEV until 2025. Will anyone want to buy an car with combustion engine after 2030 with a thought about how fast the market expand?


Couldn’t agree more. Their news release says they intend sell 2-3 Million EVs in 2025, this alone would be some 2-3% of global new car sales. Add Tesla and all the others …. ICE car production will have collapsed by 2025.


… and I would like to add: IMO any car company investing today any money in improving ICE technology could as well throw this money in the garbage can, it’s just wasted.

“I’m not sure that is needed”… of course it’s needed. The whole change coming now is driven by regulations.
If the German car companies were in charge there would be little and very slow change.

But if Germany actually wanted to be green they would start by doing something radical about the coal burning. That’s not going to happen anytime soon though.

I don’t know what you’re smoking, but I want some of it – reality distortion is exciting! Germany hasn’t “done much” to reduce its reliance on coal? Name me one country that has done more!! Germany has gone from no solar to more solar than the entire USA in a pretty short time. It now has so much renewable energy (and little storage) that electricity prices go negative at times, paying people to take the stuff! In other words, they have put as much renewable power into the grid as is feasible technically today, and it is totally unreasonable to expect them to have done even more! German car makers are of course just protecting their business. But the German electorate and government is a shining example in a lot of respects, with a scientifically literate cabinet and a very competent chancellor making really meaningful changes. The countries that have been the biggest obstacles to meaningful changes have been the USA and China. Lately China has begun to view many environmental issues as being in their own self interest to solve, and now the US, despite a president who wants to do more, is the biggest retardant of international action… Read more »

It now has so much renewable energy (and little storage) that electricity prices go negative at times…

I look at it this way:

It now has still to much non-renewable energy that has already been replaced by renewable energy – but the producers/pollutioners refuse to shut down their old coal burners. Now they blame renewable energy that electricity prices go negative at times…

They can not legally shut down coal plants without the permission of the government.
It would be very easy for the government to put a tax on or law against the oldest and/or least efficient coal plants to get rid of the excess if they wanted.

But the will is not there. Nor is there a plan to get rid of coal. On the contrary the government are now actively reducing the renewables growth

Terawatt said:

“Germany has gone from no solar to more solar than the entire USA in a pretty short time.”

But then they stupidly shut down all their nuclear power reactors. Where did they make up that sudden shortfall? I’ll bet at least some of it was by increasing the use of coal. Maybe most of it, I dunno.

So please tell me what has happened in your reality to the coal in Germany.

Is it gone? Is it reducing at a fast pace? Is there a plan to get rid of it?
Are the CO2 levels from electricity in Germany not at almost the same levels as they have been for the last 20 years?

You asked for one country, I could probably mention a hundred that is a lot cleaner and do with little to non coal but that would only be a distraction.
So to give you two countries that are/has been big polluters from coal but have worked hard on reducing it with a lot better results in recent times than Germany; Denmark and the UK.

Wake up, in terms of new renewables, Germany is far ahead of the US or anyone else.

Wake up. Having renwables doesn’t (automatically) make you green, not polluting makes you green.

Germany has both one of the highest percentage of electricity from coal and in absolute numbers. The CO2 pollution levels from electricity has almost been standing still in Germany. It’s the pink color below.

viktor, I’m surprised you still believe anything that Volkswagen says.

Leadership changed:

VW CEO’s Strategy Overhaul Focuses on Electric Vehicles ‘Strategy 2025’ aims to boost profit and push aggressively into new technology services

Volkswagen aims to achieve up to 25% of its annual sales with battery electric automobiles by 2025. That amounts to sales of up to three million battery-driven cars a year, up from just over 100,000 last year. The company aims to launch more than 30 new battery electric models over the next 10 years.

That was in response to Forever Green.

“Projected investments in future technologies in the double-digit billion range, financed through Group-wide efficiency improvements and portfolio optimization”

Ouch! Those layoffs are going to hurt.

But the question is, “Do any of the employees underneath the CEO (who haven’t changed) believe in it?”

Folks, as already discussed elsewhere, this is no discussion of any new legislation.

It is a simple deduction of “what needs to happen, given the goals”. No German government (unless it were dominated by the Green party) would ban ICE cars.

Thank you, Joe. That’s what I was gonna point out.

CARB tried to mandate ZEVs (Zero Emission Vehicles) back in (as I recall) 1998 or 1999. Didn’t work then; won’t work for Germany now.

The EV revolution will advance as the technology advances. The tipping point at which most new car buyers will prefer a PEV to a gasmobile will happen when they perceive PEVs as being the better value, and not before. Even Norway’s massive taxation of gasmobiles, up to 100% of sticker price, hasn’t pushed more than 25% of new car sales into the PEV segment.

A government which tries to mandate invention and technological change is one that is trying to ignore reality. Stimulating development of PEVs with government incentives is good. But trying to ban sales of gasmobiles will only create a backlash against the EV revolution.

Remind me; didn’t CARB get rolled back in California because fossil producers threw a ton of cash at legislaters?

No, because they made a deal with CARB to reduce pollution on their gas fleet which resulted in overall better reduction.

G2 asked: “Remind me; didn’t CARB get rolled back in California because fossil producers threw a ton of cash at legislaters?” CARB = California Air Resource Board CARB’s ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle) mandate did get rolled back due to intense lobbying, but I thought that was mostly from the big auto makers. Dunno how much bribery campaign contributions by Big Oil helped influence that. But auto makers had to push back on the ZEV mandate. The GM EV1 got California legislators and Green activists all excited, but the reality is that EV tech, specifically battery tech, was not even within the ballpark of auto makers being able to sell plug-in EVs at a profit. A ZEV mandate in 1998 or 1999 was definitely CARB getting out over its skis. Let’s remember that the GM EV1 was a test market car, one whose leasing price did not at all reflect the cost of actually making the car. “Who Killed the Electric Car?” is certainly informative viewing, but let’s be clear: That was a propaganda film which mixed a lot of untruths in with its truths. Most notably, the film pronouncing batteries “not guilty” of killing the EV1, was entirely, 100% wrong.… Read more »

What are you guys talking about? CARB was sued back in 2000-2003 timeframe, and of course, all the original Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) all disappeared virtually overnight.

From 2004 until the Nissan LEAF was released in California in January 2011, there was only a few hydrogen science experiments.

Of course, all six of the “Large Vehicle Manufacturers” had to have a ZEV by the 2012, 2013, and 2014 model years, and they did:

1) GM – Spark EV (very late, GM had to buy ZEV credits)

2) Ford – Focus Electric

3) Fiat / Chrysler – 500e

4) Toyota – Scion iQ EV (less than 100, fleet only) and Rav4 EV

5) Honda – Fit EV, lease only and crush later

6) Nissan – LEAF

True, a ban would anger a segment of the public, but doubling the CAFE mileage requirements would force manufacturers to move to plug-ins across product lines without an outright ban. PHEVs with a 50 mile AER are almost as good as a pure EV pollution-wise and are feasible right now.

What governments need to do with gasmobile sales is what they’ve done with cigarette sales. Put increasing restrictions on their sales and their use, year by year, and keep imposing ever more onerous taxes on them.

But don’t try to outright ban them, because that would be seen as tyranny by the government, and would cause a backlash from the public at large.

In the USA it is unfortunately politically impossible to impose higher taxes on gasoline sales, but more or less the same effect is, thankfully, being achieved through sharply increased requirements for fuel efficiency. At the risk of making a partisan political statement here: I think that’s something we should give the Obama administration a big Thank You! for achieving.

Doesn’t the government, i.e. “We the People,” have something to say about the quality of the air and water we want?

We set the standards, and the car makers can adjust. We aren’t asking for something unknown to be invented. The technology is here.

If a government imposes laws or regulation which makes it impossible for a company to sell a legal product at a profit, then the company won’t sell at a loss*. They’ll either go out of business, or else they’ll sell on the black market.

Just because you can build a long-range BEV doesn’t mean you can sell it at a profit. It’s that sort of innovation which the government cannot mandate.

Note the “clean diesel” scandal is an excellent example of this. Government mandated tech improvements which proved too difficult or too expensive to implement in mass produced cars. Companies (not just VW) responded by finding various ways to pretend to to comply with regulations, without actually doing so.

*Well, you can create regulations which force a company to sell one or a few of its products at a loss… witness all the “California compliance” cars. But you can’t institute laws that would force a company to sell at an overall loss, without driving the company either out of business or “underground”.

So, entire transportation only accounts for about 20% of the emission.

Isn’t that the small pie in the sky?

How about focus on that 80% of the pie for once?

Germany uses Wind AND Solar PV so they can have no COAL and NO Nuclear. More efficient is also part of it with better insulation etc.

With Zero Emmission cars they have to be sure to not include Hydrogen that can’t run on clean solar and wind. H2 fool cells are powered from mostly NG which is not clean or efficient.

Germanys goal for the year 2035 is 55% renewable electricity. Today they have about 45% electricity from coal.
They are closing down nuclear and getting rid of natural gas (too expensive + straight from Putin/Russia).

Do the simple math and tell me what will happen with the coal during the next two decades.

Getting rid of coal is NOT part of Germany’s plan. Yet some are still fooled to think that they are trying to be green when they are as brown as brown can be.

How about all plug-ins by 2022, either PHEVs or pure EVs?