Germany may force automakers to go almost all-green by 2030

German climate-change plan calls for vehicle emissions to be halved by '30.

  • Image Credit: VW
The German government is considering an emissions-reduction plan so aggressive that it would force German automakers such as Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz to dedicate most of their annual production to electrified vehicles by 2030, Bloomberg News says. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has long pushed for greener transportation, is working on a document called the Climate Protection Plan 2050, which would state that, by 2030, fleetwide light-duty vehicle emissions would need to be reduced by 45 percent, while truck emissions would need to be cut by 54 percent. The plan has not been approved by the German government.

Germany wants to boost electric vehicle and hybrid adoption beyond its current – admittedly minuscule – levels in order to reduce emissions while cutting the country's dependence on foreign oil, as Germany spends more than $55 billion a year on oil imports. Currently, Germany is home to 25,000 EVs and 130,000 hybrids, compared to 30 million gas-powered cars and almost 15 million diesel-powered vehicles, Bloomberg says, citing the KBA vehicle registration authority. Electric vehicles are forecast by the Center of Automotive Management institute to increase to 8 percent of new-vehicle sales by 2025 from 0.6 percent now, while the current government-funded cash perks for could spur sales of 500,000 green vehicles by the end of the decade.

In 2009, Merkel set a goal for Germany to have 1 million electric vehicles on the country's roads by 2020, and as many as 6 million by 2030. From our vantage point in 2016, the country's green-vehicle sales trends suggest that Germany will fall well short of those figures. As a result, the German government hatched a plug-in vehicle incentive plan this spring that would fund $1.4 billion in perks for people who buy plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, with about half of the funding coming from German automakers.

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