The country that invented the gasoline engine is ready to consign it to history. The upper house of the German parliament, EcoWatch reports, “passed a bipartisan resolution calling for a ban on sales of new vehicles powered by internal combustion engines, which includes both gasoline and diesel, [and permitting] only electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2030.”
Germany’s deputy economy minister, Rainer Baake, had told a climate forum in Berlin in June that the country would need all new cars to be emission-free by 2030 if it hoped to meet its goal of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050. Now, according to Oliver Krischer, a Green Party member of the Bundesrat quoted in Der Spiegel after the latest vote, “if the Paris agreement to curb climate-warming emissions is to be taken seriously, no new combustion engine cars should be allowed on roads after 2030.”
The proposal—not yet law—would present an historic challenge to the country’s biggest industry, which employs nearly 775,000 Germans and generates a fifth of its industrial sales. But German automakers, famously proud of their engineering, appear to have taken up the challenge of carbon-free motoring with enthusiasm.
“We’re ready for the launch of an electric product offensive that will cover all vehicle segments, from the compact to the luxury class,” Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche declared at the Paris Auto Show, where “virtually every major auto manufacturer is showcasing new electric or hybrid vehicles,” EcoWatch notes.