By on October 10, 2016

Exhaust pipe of running vehicle, Image: By Ruben de Rijcke (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The German government has passed a resolution to ban the sale of internal combustion engines in the European Union by 2030.

Receiving bipartisan support in the German Bundesrat, the resolution calls on the EU Commission in Brussels to ensure only zero-emission passenger vehicles be approved for sale within the next fourteen years.

While the act has no direct legislative implications for Europe as a whole, German regulations could still undoubtedly influence and shape future automotive policies in the EU.

According to Forbes, citing a report in Germany’s Der Spiegel, the new resolution calls on the EU Commission to “review the current practices of taxation and dues with regard to a stimulation of emission-free mobility,” which could mean the Commission finding a way to incentivize electric vehicle purchases and tax diesel vehicles to make them much less appetizing.

Considering diesel accounts for roughly half of all new European passenger vehicles sold, banning the internal combustion engine won’t be an incredibly popular choice.

Statista (a German-based market research database) estimates most new car sales in Belgium, Spain, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Ireland, and France have been of the diesel variety since 2013. The European Automobile Manufactures Association pegs the fleet in Europe at 40.97-percent diesel versus 54.1-percent petrol.

However, plug-in vehicles only just surpassed a 1-percent share of the European passenger car market. And even as Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal winds its way through the courts, diesel sales remain strong in the Old Continent. To expect any single country — let alone the entire EU — to replace the internal combustion engine in under fourteen years may be nothing more than wishful thinking.

[Image: Ruben de Rijcke (CC BY-SA 3.0), via Wikimedia Commons]

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45 Comments on “Germany Asks for Improbable Ban on Internal Combustion Engines by 2030...”

  • avatar

    Yeah let us know how that works out for you.

  • avatar

    It was not the German Government. It was a resolution by the Bundesrat, which is the Federal Council of Germany. It represents the 16 Laender (federal states) and is subordinate to the Federal parlament, the Bundestag. It only has a voice in decisions that affect the legislative scope of the federal states.

    As you can imagine, this structure leads to frequent bouts of political grandstanding, like in the case of this resolution.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, usually headlines like this are in the same vein as breathless proclamations about how the United States is going to ban encryption because some Kentucky city counselor doesn’t understand how cell phones work.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        It’s a non-story, and TTAC totally fell for it.

        You really have to wonder how this piece got published without one person thinking “I wonder what the real story is?” or “what exactly is Bundesrat, other than a great band name?”

        Totally bush league. I expect that from car click sites, but not from TTAC.

        • 0 avatar

          Oh, blow.. it’s an official government announcement from one of the three most important car-making countries in the world that is absolutely inimical to the present state of the car-making industry.

          That’s not news for an enthusiasts’ blog?

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            It’s a local council voting on something that they have no authority over. The end-game is to get sites like this one to publish articles like this.

            TTAC fell for it.

          • 0 avatar

            But it is NOT the government. It is similar to a senate resolution, i.e. non-binding.
            It is made for effect, so politicians can show voters that they’re ‘doing something’ without really doing anything.

          • 0 avatar


            Heh… Bundesrat sound pretty Bundeseben to a foreigner.

            Don’t blame the messenger. And why you hangin’ out at such a chump site, then?

          • 0 avatar

            The Bundesrat is a national body, not a “local council”. It just happens to be a national body with no real authority.

            If you’re going to complain about accuracy, you should make a point of being accurate.

  • avatar

    That’s an easy goal to achieve. War and/or economic collapse will put everyone on donkeys and bicycles.

  • avatar

    Silly krauts. They know darn well that this is redundant; their cratered birth rate will have already solved their pollution problem.

    And their replacements will have flying carpets. Those are pretty green.

  • avatar

    They also passed a resolution to replace all coal and fossil fuel fired power plants as well.

    I dont see the ICE resolution lasting what with a trillion dollar automobile industry in Germany?

    Yeah when money talks, the bullscheisse walks.

  • avatar

    This could be interesting. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    From what I’ve read and heard about how expensive it is to have a car with their tax laws and all, I’m not certain if I would own one at all.

    I’d like to believe I’d “take it easy… take the train”!

  • avatar

    What better than a government-mandated electric car to carry around your perfectly-curved EU bananas?

    That snickering you hear is coming from the U.K.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle


      FYI, that banana thing is a myth, debunked the moment it came out, and repudiated by the very people who helped spread it.

      You are doing your credibility no favors by digging it out of the graveyard.

      Also, the article plainly states that this is not an EU initiative or vote.

      • 0 avatar

        Commission Regulation (EC) No. 2257/94, and the standards it specifies for banana curvature, is very real. The “myth” to which you so enthusiastically refer is that there is a ban on excessively-bent bananas, which I never claimed in my post. Your fight is with someone else.

        As for the nature of this initiative, I can read as well as you can but was giving the average TTAC reader credit for understanding the short path from what German politicians want to what the E.U. gets. I stand corrected.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “That snickering you hear is coming from the U.K.”


    • 0 avatar

      Given the UK will soon have no meaningful auto industry anymore the UK can at least afford to not worry about EU regulation. I guess that is also a form of independence….

  • avatar

    If they really gave a sh!t, they’d start with a ban on pre-emissions diesels and VW TDIs, like right now. Even this small step will never happen.

  • avatar

    Well, there went Tesla…..

    The way German industrial policy works, is German companies figure out how to build the best, most sophisticated and complex to build stuff in the world, then get busy lobbying to have inferior alternatives banned, or at least “discouraged.”

    It’s how diesel became the mainstay of the EU passenger car fleet, despite them being manyfold more complicated and expensive to keep remotely clean, than relatively simple gas engines. Never mind the latter working just as well in a passenger car. But, European heavy truck engines had gotten so complex (and clean) that the German industrial machine recognized they had a comfortable lead in diesel tech. While gas tech was largely a commodity by 1995. So, in order to even get one of the newer diesels to run cleanly, call Robert Bosch. He’s the only one who can do it. As he is for ever more complex safety equipment, like motorcycle stability control/abs systems. And, increasingly, ever more mandated to be complex DI turbo-supercharged petrodiesels as well.

    Similarly, European building codes are slowly but surely tightening wrt energy usage, to the point where more and more component and sub assembly suppliers are…. German! And expensive! And really, really hard to replicate efficiently anywhere else! Which, in that dysfunctional industry, is certainly a good thing, simply on account of the sheer dysfunction of the whole world wide “real estate” racket in the bankster era.

    If e-cars are how the Bosch’ of the world figures they get a second dip into the pockets of those they previously sold a diesel car, a scrappy startup is sure to be in for some serious rampup in the competition it faces, in not too long.

    • 0 avatar

      @stuki: Interesting. The Germans are already leading in the move to even faster charging.

      • 0 avatar

        “The concept version was estimated at 310 miles, and it recharges using an integrated capacitive charging technology in the underbelly, with wireless charging capability, that can reach 80 percent of a full charge in 15 minutes.”

        Ooh! Bitte, chargen Sie meine G-Schpott!

      • 0 avatar

        Fast charging requires a ton of Watts going through a cable. It *might* be possible to build something a consumer could handle (I can’t imagine trying to introduce pump gas now: “you want untrained people to pump an explosive carcinogen into their own cars with no safety controls*?”).

        Fast charging in the home is virtually impossible. You can have your house wired at 220 (especially if building new). You really can’t go beyond that anyplace residential, and you really aren’t going to go beyond 20A. It would take an entirely different grid, and such completely different wiring codes that fast charging at home simply isn’t happening.

        The batteries are an even worse story. But LiFePO4 batteries might make it possible (and make Telsa-level power in hybrids a much better possibility).

        • 0 avatar

          @wumpus: It *might* be possible to build something a consumer could handle

          Huh?? It’s already in existence and available. When you plug it in, the plug locks. Next the charger runs diagnostics on the car to make sure it’s okay. Finally, if everything is okay, the power is applied.

          “You can have your house wired at 220 (especially if building new). You really can’t go beyond that anyplace residential, and you really aren’t going to go beyond 20A.”

          Again, WTF? I’m in the USA and I have 240 volts and two 240v 50 amp outlets. Electric stoves use 240/220 50a. My dryer uses 240v 30a and there’s an outlet for that. These types outlets are common in older houses as well as new.

          High-speed fast charging isn’t really needed at home. For me, usually the worst I’m down is maybe 50 miles or so. Frequently, it’s only 10 miles. Not a huge need for really fast charging. The best use for quick charging is long distance trips with a single leg of the trip beyond the cars range.

  • avatar
    George B

    I wonder how Europe plans to generate the electric power to charge all those electric vehicles? In the US consumers typically recharge their car in their garage at night. Not ideal for solar or wind.

    • 0 avatar

      Didn’t they ban nuclear plants after Fukishima? That is going to take a lot of wind farms, or coal.

    • 0 avatar

      @George B: US consumers typically recharge their car in their garage at night. Not ideal for solar or wind.

      That’s where storage batteries like the Tesla Power Wall come into play.

      Anyway, my EV near empty takes less than 3.5 hours to charge and the rate that it draws tapers down for the last hour. It pulls less power than some central air conditioning units – and that’s not for the entire charge. Why not worry about the proliferation of air conditioning too. If you really want to see some serious power consumed, you should have seen me Saturday afternoon running both of my new convection ovens in pizza mode at the same time. They were probably drawing triple the power of my car.

      • 0 avatar

        “US consumers typically recharge their car in their garage at night. Not ideal for solar or wind.”

        If only there was some way to store electricity for later use…hmmm…

      • 0 avatar

        “They were probably drawing triple the power of my car.”

        But they were doing so at 100% efficiency! (note: while technically true, not as efficient as using gas. Or using electric heat over a heat pump).

        How did you manage to need to cook more pizzas than a single oven could cook? Making pizza for an entire soccer league? Two teenage boys?

  • avatar

    These worthies need to reflect on the three laws of thermodynamics.

    1)You can’t win
    2)You can’t break even
    3)You can’t get out of the game

    This resolution is not quite as silly as the Indiana Pi Bill, which did not define pi as exactly 3, but did propose other things just as improbable. According to wikipedia, one legislator got into the spirit of things, suggesting the bill be referred to the Committee on Swamplands.

  • avatar

    A recent study has confirmed that commuters riding bicycles emit far more carbon dioxide per mile than those driving Ampera-E’s.
    So that’s not a viable option. ;)

  • avatar

    I’m laughing all my way to the…track.

  • avatar

    This suggests that banning all diesels from inner cities in Germany may come soon.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    I think BWM, Porsche, and Audi will have none of that!

  • avatar
    Testacles Megalos

    Regardless of the relative signficance of the Bundesrat, it is a national body that got international attention with this.
    14 years after computers were science fiction devices that took up rooms and rooms, and rockets were V2s and fireworks, men walked on the moon
    14 years after that you could have had a primitive desktop computer.
    14 after that you had a real desktop and maybe a laptop that could actually do useful work for you.
    And 14 years after that you can hold the computer power of Apollo program in the palm of your hand, have video calls with people in other countries at any time, and check on your retirement portfolio.

    No, I would be disappointed but not surpised if we IC engines are banned in another 14 years.

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