Greenpeace for e-buses and higher diesel tax

Greenpeace for e-buses and higher diesel tax

The environmental protection organization greenpeace proposes to convert the public bus fleet in germany to electric drives instead of paying purchase premiums for electric cars. Greenpeace transport expert daniel moser told the german press agency "deutsche presse-agentur" that seven billion euros could be used for this purpose if the current tax rebate for diesel fuel were abolished german press agency. "Not only does this improve the air quality in germany, it also saves far more, two million tons of co2, than a purchase penalty for e-cars could do."

However, this leaves a few things unmentioned. Many cities have been running their bus fleets on natural gas rather than diesel for years. A reduction in diesel subsidies could also be a signal to many commuters to switch back from diesel to gasoline engines, which could increase co2 emissions considerably more than a conversion of the bus fleet from natural gas to electricity. The proposal was also likely to be politically difficult to implement.

Tomorrow, tuesday, german chancellor angela merkel will meet with the ceos of volkswagen, daimler and bmw to discuss the ie of electric mobility. In order to stimulate demand, which is still weak, government subsidies of 5,000 euros per electric car are becoming more likely. According to spiegel, however, there are also plans to involve the auto industry in the process. "A subsidy of 5,000 euros is the right thing to do if it is sensibly financed. We propose to use overpowered gas guzzlers for refinancing," said grunen faction leader anton hofreiter to the dpa. "This would be a real traffic turnaround: require those who contribute to better air for all – make those who pollute the most contribute."

Lower saxony’s minister of economics olaf lies (spd) is also pushing for a government requirement. Jobs in germany’s auto industry also depend on the breakthrough of electric mobility, which has hardly been successful to date. "If we want to keep production and innovation here, then we also need a market for it. Because without that, there is no production and innovation here," he said. "Then in the future we’ll be driving electromobility from asia and the jobs of the future will be lost here."

Greenpeace expert moser, on the other hand, said that purchase premiums for e-cars are "doubly nonsensical. "They do little for climate protection and are even harmful in terms of transport policy. Instead of financing the purchase of a heavy hybrid sedan for porsche drivers, which does nothing for the climate, the german government should abolish the harmful diesel tax of seven billion euros per year."Instead of calling for the diesel engine, which is still harmful to health, the money could be used to initiate a sustainable change in traffic patterns, the report continues.

Greenpeace is calling for a comprehensive restructuring of the motor vehicle tax in germany – also and especially in view of climate change and the goals for the world climate agreed in paris, according to the environmental protection organization. Transport sector is one of the main sources of co2, a greenhouse gas that is harmful to the climate, he said. By restructuring vehicle tax, an exit from diesel technology could be linked to entry into electromobility.

Demand for e-cars in germany is still weak. Last year, only 12.363 electric cars were newly registered – compared with a total of 3.2 million passenger cars. From summer 2017, members of the bundestag will also be driven around berlin in electric cars. With their use, "the entry into the concept of sustainable mobility should be completed and the co2 emissions significantly reduced," it was said in a letter from bundestag president norbert lammert (cdu) to the parliamentarians, which the german press agency on saturday.

Due to the german electricity mix, which currently stands at approx. 560 grams of co2 per kilowatt hour generated, an e-car with a consumption of 15 kwh. The exact figures for 2015 are not yet available. In 2014, co2 emissions were 569 grams per kilowatt hour generated, according to the federal environment agency. This makes it one of the less dirty types of drive, but the difference between it and the most fuel-efficient cars with conventional drives is not significant. One thing, of course, must not go unnoticed: any progress on the power plant side will have an immediate positive impact. And the truth is that greenpeace has been demanding exactly this progress for a long time.

(with material from the dpa)