Electric cars allowed to legally travel faster than ICE.
Just recently, Austria has started to implement a 140km/h (86mph) speed limit on some of their autobahns. The Alpine country is also axing the much-debated 110km/h (68mph) night speed limit, in effect from 10 PM - 6 AM on some parts of their high-speed road network. And now, it seems that Austria will pioneer an adjustment for the speed restrictions for electric vehicles traveling in the country’s IG-L-Hundred zone, which covers a total area of 440 kilometers (273 miles).
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The updated rules will allow Tesla and other electric vehicle owners to travel up to 130 km/h (80 mph) on the highway, 30 km/h (20 mph) faster than their fossil fuel-powered counterparts. Mind you, the current restrictions on some roads in Tyrol - like the A 12 Inntal motorway and the A 13 Brenner motorway - are just 100km/h right now. The update covers only electric vehicles, so any plug-in hybrid - like, for example, the BMW i8 - which use an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) alongside its battery-powered powertrain, will not be able to utilize the updated regulations.
The Austrian Ambient Air Quality Act (IG-L), in short, in particular, transposes several EU directives relating to air pollution control. It pursues important objectives such as sustained protection against harmful and unacceptable air pollutants and preventive reductions in the emission of air pollutants. It basically aims to reduce pollution from NOx gasses in several parts of this Alpine country, helping curb the effects of (mostly) motorway traffic in some parts of their network.
In 2012, for example, heavy goods traffic and private vehicles accounted for almost 40% of traffic-related NOx emissions at the Vomp/Raststätte A 12 measurement point. Delivery vans accounted for some 20% of emissions, while the rest could be attributed to buses and motorcycles. Therefore, a number of traffic restrictions have therefore been enacted (IG-L - Vehicle Prohibitions, IG-L - Speed Restriction). And now, Austria is slated to reduce these restrictions for electric vehicles.