January 20, 2019 - Altamonte Springs, Florida, United States - A Tesla electric car is seen parked at a charging station in Altamonte Springs, Florida on January 20, 2019. Tesla has raised prices at its Supercharger stations, and will now set prices according to local demand and power rates. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Germany plans to phase out the sale of combustion-engine vehicles to help meet its ambitious goal of getting 15 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030

Germany’s vow to promote the usage of electric vehicles and strengthen climate-change measures could lead to the country banning combustion-engine cars shortly.
According to a pact released by Germany’s next government, which includes Social Democrats, Greens, and Free Democrats, the country has committed to halting the sale of combustion-engine vehicles by setting an ambitious goal of having at least 15 million battery-powered cars on the road by the end of the decade. To accomplish this target, the country would need to significantly grow electric vehicle production, while petrol and diesel cars will likely be phased out during the following few years.
“It can only be done if new automobiles with internal combustion engines are not registered before 2030,” said Volker Quaschning, a professor of renewable energy systems at Berlin’s University of Applied Sciences. “By roughly 2028, it makes sense to discontinue registering gasoline and diesel cars.”
According to reports, Germany presently has an estimated 570,000 registered battery-powered automobiles, accounting for less than 1% of the country’s fleet. To meet this objective, Germany will need to boost electric vehicle manufacturing and sales by 33% every year from now until 2030, an initiative Germany has made work on in the past year thanks to incentives and subsidies that helped treble registrations. However, the government has already struggled to reach early electric vehicle goals, including failing to meet former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s commitment to have one million battery-powered cars on the road by 2020. Germany also has challenges in improving consumer knowledge and accessibility, which some experts believe will be resisted. “When it comes to obtaining such high levels of EV sales in actuality, there isn’t much substance in the coalition agreement,” Giulio Mattioli, a researcher at the TU Dortmund University’s department of transportation planning, told Bloomberg. “It will take some persuasion to persuade consumers,” says the author.
Nonetheless, if Germany’s ambitions are met, it will be ahead of the European Union’s 2035 deadline to phase out combustion engines. “Only CO2-neutral vehicles will be permitted in the transport sector in Europe in 2035, according to European Commission plans – this will have an earlier effect in Germany,” Germany’s coalition declaration adds. “We suggest that only vehicles that can be refueled with e-fuels be registered outside of the existing system of fleet emission regulations.”