Germany’s Bundesrat, the legislative body of the federal states in the country, passed a resolution in a recent meeting calling upon the European Union to ban anything but zero-emissions vehicles on EU roads within the next 14 years. It has no legislative effect on its own, but hey, it’s what Germany wants.
According to a report from Forbes, the resolution asks the executive body of the EU, the European Commission, to “review the current practices of taxation and dues with regard to a stimulation of emission-free mobility.” The resolution has no immediate effect—and it could potentially have no effect at all—because the EU makes the rules, but Forbes reports that German regulations traditionally help to shape those for the EU.
The “practices of taxation and dues” statement almost surely means monetary breaks related to electric cars, which have been used on both the consumer and manufacturer sides in the U.S.—Nevada gave Faraday Future $335 million in incentives for building a factory and Tesla $1.3 billion for its Gigafactory there, and California offers rebates to those who purchase electric cars.
But taking an entire species of car off of the streets—especially one that has long dominated the market—is harder than just changing tax practices. Plenty of manufacturers have plans for electric cars in the coming three or four years, but forcing the entire EU into switching over in the decade after that doesn’t sound easy. After the private-car sector, there’s always the issue of public transportation and the hauling of goods to consider.
Plus, just look at the numbers. ICIS News reports that of Germany’s new-car registrations in August, 56.2 percent were gasoline, 45.3 percent were diesel and a mere 2.1 percent were hybrid or electric. Nearly half of those registered new cars were diesel, and that comes a year after German automaker Volkswagen’s worldwide Dieselgate emissions scandal.
Maybe give the EU a few more years on that “zero emissions” idea, Germany. Heck, give yourself a few years too.