Speaking in a recent interview, the new finance minister of Germany was quoted as saying that everything possible must be done to avoid the imposition of diesel car bans in the country’s cities.
The new finance minister, Olaf Scholz — himself apparently the owner of a diesel car — instead called for investments into plug-in electric vehicle charging infrastructure to be boosted, with the idea being to get more internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles off the road that way.
These comments follow similar comments from the new transport minister, Andreas Scheuer, and also from the German Chancellor herself, Angela Merkel. Despite the three politicians belonging to different political factions, they all seem to agree on the matter — arguing that diesel car bans would be dangerous to the country’s auto industry. Scholz, it should be noted, is a Social Democrat.
Reuters provides more: “In an interview with the Funke Mediengruppe newspaper chain, Olaf Scholz expressed scepticism that changes in taxation — for instance, scrapping tax breaks for diesel as a fuel — would speed moves by the car industry to introduce cleaner cars.” (Author’s note: What???!!)
“He also rejected calls for the government to offer financial incentives to get more clean-burning diesel cars on the road and bring down emissions in heavily polluted cities.”
Continuing with that line of though, Scholz stated: “It is the task of industry to develop vehicles that meet existing and future rules for clean air. … We must talk seriously about how we can get more electric cars or expand public transportation.”
While that sounds like exactly the sort of noncommittal-but-still-sounds-good statement that politicians are known for making, Scholz did make a statement that sounded a bit sensible. And I quote: “Industry must deliver now. It would be good if such a technological advance came from Germany.”
Yeah, if not, then the German auto industry is going to be facing severe retraction over the coming decade or two. That would seem to make action a necessity, would it not?