Germany Asks for Improbable Ban on Internal Combustion Engines by 2030

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • White Shadow White Shadow on Oct 11, 2016

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

  • Testacles Megalos Testacles Megalos on Oct 12, 2016

    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.

  • James Hendricks The depreciation on the Turbo S is going to be epic!
  • VoGhost Key phrase: "The EV market has grown." Yup, EV sales are up yet again, contrary to what nearly every article on the topic has been claiming. It's almost as if the press gets 30% of ad revenues from oil companies and legacy ICE OEMs.
  • Leonard Ostrander Daniel J, you are making the assertion. It's up to you to produce the evidence.
  • VoGhost I remember all those years when the brilliant TTAC commenters told me over and over how easy it was for legacy automakers to switch to making EVs, and that Tesla was due to be crushed by them in just a few months.
  • D "smaller vehicles" - sorry, that's way too much common sense! Americans won't go along because clever marketing convinced us our egos need big@ss trucks, which give auto manufacturers the profit margin they want, and everybody feels vulnerable now unless they too have a huge vehicle. Lower speed limits could help, but no politician wants to push that losing policy. We'll just go on building more lanes and driving faster and faster behind our vehicle's tinted privacy glass. Visions of Slim Pickens riding a big black jacked up truck out of a B-52.