All cars in Germany must be emissions free by 2030, official says

By BRIAN PARKIN, Bloomberg News, published

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.

The “fact is there’s been no reduction at all in CO2 emissions by transport since 1990,” said Baake at a Tagesspiegel newspaper climate forum in Berlin. “We don’t have any answers to cut truck emissions right now but we do have answers for cars.”

Germany is lagging behind cuts to greenhouse gas that transportation emits, which according to the Environment Ministry account for a fifth of the country’s carbon dioxide pollution. The sector needs to cut some 10 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over the next 5 years from a tally of about 165 million tons last year. While the country has committed to reducing emissions 40 per cent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels, its adoption of electric cars has been sluggish.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government pledged subsidies this year to speed e-car sales, a move that was accelerated by Volkswagen AG’s emission-manipulation scandal. Buyers of all-electric and hybrid vehicles can claim cash incentives, moves already in operation in countries including China, Norway and France. The program may spark sales of about 500,000 electric cars by 2020, according to the Environment Ministry.

Purely electric vehicles as a portion of all cars on German roads may reach about 8 per cent in 2025 from 0.6 per cent this year, according to a forecast of the Center of Automotive Management institute. The government has so far stuck with a plan to put a million hybrid and battery plug-ins on the road by 2020 and 6 million by 2030

Electric car sales still remain a fraction of all German vehicle sales. About 130,000 hybrids and 25,000 all-electric cars were registered on German roads as of January compared with 30 million gasoline cars and 14.5 million diesels, according to the KBA vehicle registration authority.