The possibility of binding quotas for electric car sales should be seriously considered by the government of Germany, the country’s deputy economy minister, Matthias Machnig, was recently quoted as stating.
The comments are no doubt in part intended to address some of the public dissatisfaction relating to ongoing revelations about corruption and illegal activity in the country’s auto industry. The phrasings used make that clear.
“We want Germany to remain the top car country in the future,” Machnig stated in an interview with Reuters, before then going on to state that to do so would require an embrace of “digitalization” and “new technologies.”
“That’s why we should talk about a binding target to really get electromobility going in Europe and also in Germany,” stated Machnig, of the Social Democrats (a junior coalition partner of Angela Merkel’s ruling party).
Machnig’s comments are apparently meant as a response to a report in the German paper Handelsblatt that said that the European Commission is considering the introduction of an electric vehicle quota. A spokesperson for the EU executive was quick to deny this, though, following the report.
That spokesperson stated: “Generally speaking, the Commission is looking into ways to promote use of low carbon energy and transport, but none of them includes quotas for electric cars. We do not discriminate between different technologies.”
Reuters provides a bit more information: “The Handelsblatt report said the sources believed a minimum sales level alongside stricter limits for C02 emissions were already part of measures to promote climate-friendly mobility that the Commission wants to present by the end of the year.”
Going by the quote from the spokesperson, though, it’s hard to tell if there’s any truth to that assertion. Either way, though, there are clearly large changes coming with regard to Europe’s auto industry and to vehicle sales there.