Germany votes to ban internal-combustion vehicles by 2030

Road & Track article. Although it sounds more like the German government formally asking the European Union to adopt such a ban. On one hand, an ambitious goal, especially considering the Germans have a significant automotive industry. On the other had, a not particularly ambitious timetable. :dubious:

To clarify: That was a reportedly a resolution by the Bundesrat (the upper chamber of parliament, the lower being the Bundestag). The Bundesrat represents the 16 federal states. The resolution does not mean that the Bundestag or the Cabinet are on board so it is premature to report that the German government has resolved anything.

I cannot find the primary source for the resolution - it was first reported on 8 October but the last plenary session of the Bundesrat was on 23 September and the next one will only be on 14 October. Surely competent reporting would be able to quote a session date and document reference number for the resolution (bills, agenda and minutes are available on the Bundesrat’s site). So despite wide circulation of the news I am a bit doubtful.

Found it now: Bundesrat resolution 387/16(B), adopted by majority in the plenary session of 23 September 2016 under agenda item #70. (Really, has journalism become that dismal nowadays that national and international press report an item voted on by the upper chamber of a national legislature, in public session, as news more than two weeks later?)

Interestingly enough my state of Baden-Württemberg voted against, even if it has a green premier and is governed by the only green-black coalition government in Germany. We are the home state of Mercedes and Porsche after all.

It is not a matter of law, but rather the Bundesrat’s comment on a policy document circulated by the European Commission for comment in July to the member states. Bundestag (lower house) and Cabinet would adopt their own comments resoultions if they consider it warranted.

To summarise, it is the comment of one legislative stakeholder in one member state of the EU regarding long term EU policy.

After some digging: the states of Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Hesse, Saarland and Saxony voted against the clause of no new internal combustion vehicles by 2030. The other ten states voted in favour. Curiously enough Lower Saxony, home of and shareholder in Volkswagen, voted in favour - apparently they think VW would not be threatened by a 2030 deadline.

They had no problem with that “clean diesel” technological challenge. They’re ready for the Next Big Thing, and they’ll solve it with the same aplomb and cleverness as all their previous ones.

In other words, a plug-in hybrid that runs on batteries alone when being tested. :rolleyes:

thing is, the current generation of VAG diesel engines are pretty much the cleanest in real-world conditions. No silly tricks needed.
I’d certainly lay strong money on the VAG group being right up with the class leaders in zero-emission technology.
They made a stupid choice but they didn’t suddenly become poor engineers.

Isn’t it going to be more dangerous if the combustion is on the outside?

I’ve long thought that future generations will look on us as irresponsible and barbaric for our use of heat engines.

Just because it’s possible to convert a BMW over to steam power doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

This won’t affect me. My uncle has a country place no one knowns about that hides a shining car, a brilliant red Barchetta.


I strongly disagree with your last sentence. That is a timetable so ambitious that it makes me skeptical of the whole plan. 2030 sounds like some exotic future date but it is only 13 years away. That is incredibly fast for the scale of the changes it will take to make it happen. I work for a mega-corp and we have much more modest project timelines already in full motion that are scheduled to take much more than half that long already.

To actually hit the goal as stated, they would have to work on it aggressively starting now and not ever let up. We aren’t talking about just incorporating existing technology into existing models. Whole new technologies have to be ironed out and refined especially for industrial and fleet uses. You have to retool whole factories and start shutting down the existing ICE lines while ramping up alternative energy production starting right away. You also have to hope that the alternative energy vehicles actually sell and the external infrastructure from mechanics to recharging stations become available on a mass scale to support such rapid change.

Done incorrectly, many people will just stop buying new cars and maintain their old ICE vehicles under the problems are worked out. That delay could easily crash the business models of even the largest auto-makers.

It’ll be okay - they’ll put the generator in your trailer.

It sounds like this is a repeat of when people thought Norway adopted a policy to ban ICE car sales by 2025…

It could be worse, here the world’s 4th largest economy is promising to clean up one single industry. Jill Stein is promising to make the worlds 1st largest completely clean in *every *industry by the same date. You can call it a pipe dream as long as the pipes aren’t used in the nuclear industry.

Thankfully the Germany auto industry is on board. Volkswagen is at the forefront of environmental innovations and would never, ever try to subvert emissions standards through false means.

But in all seriousness, this sounds like a plan ripe for loopholes.

If the true goal is actual complete abolition of internal combustion engines, then a 13-year lead time is in fact very ambitious, I would say, for a whole load of reasons, but including:

The infrastructure to refine and deliver fuel is built into our infrastructure everywhere - without a rapid-charging solution for electric vehicles, fuel stations have less reason to exist or be profitable - many of them are also shops, diners etc - that’s quite a chunk of disruption.

Some vehicles on the road are older than 13 years - so that habit has to stop.

Internal combustion engines aren’t just used in road vehicles - they also feature in construction site equipment, mobile power generators, boats, etc - abolishing them everywhere is a really big deal.

I’m not saying any of that is insurmountable, but if you want to do a significant amount of it by 2030, that’s a tall order.