On cue, and following earlier reports that the government was considering the creation of a joint fund with auto manufacturers to finance diesel car retrofits so as to lower emissions, Germany’s Transport Minister has denied that any such actions had been considered.
So, to be clear, German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer has denied that such a path of action has ever been considered by the government there — not just that the government wouldn’t pursue such a plan.
As you may remember, we reported recently that the German magazine Der Spiegel had revealed that the government in the country was considering the aforementioned joint fund as a way of possibly avoiding the ban on diesel cars in some cities (following the decision by the top court in the country to allow city-level bans).
The new Transport Minister denies this. In an interview with Passauer Neue Presse, Scheuer stated: “The discussion about hardware retrofits is not appropriate at this point, and definitely not with the participation of taxpayers.”
As reported by Reuters, he stated that “there had not yet been any discussion about funding, and (that) he remained committed to meeting emissions targets using measures already being implemented and without costly hardware retrofits.”
Continuing: “German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her cabinet are due to discuss vehicle emissions and how to avert driving bans during their cabinet retreat this week after Germany’s top administrative court ruled in February that local authorities could bar heavily polluting diesel cars. … Of the 15 million diesel cars in Germany, only 2.7 million are equipped with the latest Euro-6 emissions technology.
“Scheuer said there was ‘no reason to panic,’ noting a combination of incentives and specific measures could help lower emissions in cities now exceeding permitted levels. He said software updates of some 5.3 million diesel cars to be completed by the auto industry by the end of the year would reduce emissions by up to 30%.”
Accompanying those statements, Scheuer commented that he had now released the first €20 million of €175 million in government subsidies meant to be used to subsidize public infrastructure agency purchases of plug-in electric vehicles. Those funds would reportedly pay for the subsidization of around 2,000 cars. Not quite enough to deal with the country’s air pollution problems, eh?
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