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Power Transportation Hardware

Germany Calls For a Ban On Combustion Engine Cars By 2030 (engadget.com) 296

Germany gave the world the internal combustion engine, and now it is prepping to ban the amazing invention in the country. The country's federal council has passed a resolution to ban the ICE starting in 2030. From an Engadget report:The country's Bundesrat (federal council) has passed a resolution calling for a ban on new internal combustion engine cars by 2030. From then on, you'd have to buy a zero-emissions vehicle, whether it's electric or running on a hydrogen fuel cell. This isn't legally binding, but the Bundesrat is asking the European Commission to implement the ban across the European Union... and when German regulations tend to shape EU policy, there's a chance that might happen. The council also wants the European Commission to review its taxation policies and their effect on the "stimulation of emission-free mobility." Just what that means isn't clear. It could involve stronger tax incentives for buying zero-emissions cars, but it could also involve eliminating tax breaks for diesel cars in EU states. Automakers are already worried that tougher emission standards could kill diesels -- remove the low cost of ownership and it'd only hasten their demise.
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Germany Calls For a Ban On Combustion Engine Cars By 2030

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  • by prefec2 ( 875483 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @03:48PM (#53043373)

    The Federal Council only represent the single states in Germany and cannot implement such law. This must be a national law or a EU law. While the move would be logical , it will not happen. The transport minister Dobrindt already ridiculed the intervention.

    • RTFS, which notes that this isn't binding.

      • RTFS, which notes that this isn't binding.

        Binding laws are inherently undemocratic. Voters today should not be able to impose policies and costs on future citizens against their will.

        When binding laws have been allowed, they have generally been disastrous, with current voters giving themselves lots of goodies and pushing the cost off on future generations. This is what happened in Detroit.

  • by StandardCell ( 589682 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @03:53PM (#53043407)
    Have they thought of the implications this has on the trucking industry? Have they thought what this might do to low-income or fixed-income individuals who can't afford a car and suddenly left without transportation? Where is the electricity or energy to create hydrogen fuel going to come from now that they've banned nuclear and don't want fossil fuels? What will happen to the jobs of independent gasoline retailers and distributors and other people involved in that part of the economy? And what about the total cost of ownership for a vehicle with comparable range?

    I understand that technology has lots of room to improve in this timeframe, but we need substantially better technology all around in order to make it viable to replace current combustion engines and we need to bring the full impact on the economy and on people in particular before we require that absolutely no vehicles are allowed to have combustion engines any more.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ThosLives ( 686517 )

      For personal transportation the issue is and always will be recharging. Until we get 400kW chargers, it's kind of a step back in personal transportation. That is, basically until we get full-range (300mile / 500km) recharge times down to 15 minutes or less... boo.

      Either that, or we lose the idea of personal ownership of transportation capital - which is what all the people talking about "but just Uber (or equivalent) the self-driving car when you need one, or take public transportation" are really espousin

      • For personal transportation the issue is and always will be recharging. Until we get 400kW chargers, it's kind of a step back in personal transportation. That is, basically until we get full-range (300mile / 500km) recharge times down to 15 minutes or less... boo.

        Not quite far enough for the Burke Developmental Road in Queensland, Australia [wikipedia.org].

      • For personal transportation the issue is and always will be recharging. Until we get 400kW chargers, it's kind of a step back in personal transportation. That is, basically until we get full-range (300mile / 500km) recharge times down to 15 minutes or less... boo.

        I'm pretty sure, if the car manufacturers had until 2030 to solve the problem and then ICEs got cut off they could solve the problem. Battery tech has improved immensely the last 10 years and continues to do so. Give us another dozen years, and give the auto-makers REAL motivation and they'd have this licked.

    • by joh ( 27088 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @04:07PM (#53043457)

      This isn't banning ICE engines. Only new cars with them. Also, it won't happen this way. But it surely got people talking and the writing is on the wall anyway.

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        Will they be banning the import of used ICE cars, with odometers run forward on rollers or with faked forward readings that are essentially new?

        • If you won't be able to register an ICE car, it really doesn't matter whether it's new or used. The used car market is going to take a hit.

          It's already taking a hit locally: if you drive an older diesel engine you're going to get a fine in most inner cities in Germany and now increasingly in Holland as well. Resale value of 10 year old diesels isn't high anyway, though.

          • In France you've got the Peugeot 205 diesel. Small car from 20 to 30 year old with a relatively high resale value. Well, if it gets banned people will want a 206 diesel instead.

    • Have they thought what this might do to low-income or fixed-income individuals who can't afford a car and suddenly left without transportation?

      Banning new ICEs doesn't mean the existing stock of cars with ICEs ceases to exist overnight.

      And you seem to be overlooking the fact that Germany has a very extensive and very effective public transit system. I'd wager, if the Germans are anything like my other European colleagues, that many don't even own cars because they don't need to own a car. If you can't afford – or choose not – to own a car in Germany it doesn't mean you're trapped, not like it does here in the U.S.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Calydor ( 739835 )

        Public transport? The nearest bus stop from me is EIGHT KILOMETERS away. If I don't have a car I'm not getting to go anywhere.

        And yes, I'm in Germany. Please remember in all discussions about public transport that not everyone lives in the middle of a metropolis with everything they'll ever need within walking distance.

        • by fazig ( 2909523 )
          Where exactly do you live in Germany, somewhere on an 'Aussiedlerhof"? The infrastructure isn't that good in all the states. Especially those that suffered from the oppressive thumb of communism are still lagging behind more than a decade.
          I've used to live in the 'outback' (Black Forest) of South-west Germany for a while and there was a bus every 30 minutes (tops 60 minutes), even for villages that were comprised of something like ten houses. And most of the time, public transport is on time.
          I also suppose
        • The nearest bus stop from me is EIGHT KILOMETERS away.

          Eight km is only five miles. In America, we have driveways longer than that.

      • I think you got the wrong idea about transport in Europe. Many regions have excellent public transport, with a dense network of various modes of transport offering frequent service. But even here in the Netherlands with an extremely dense public transport network, there are few people who are happy (or able) to take public transport and not have a car. In the west part of the country, many trains and buses will be jam packed during rush hour, the railway company has trouble adding more cars to the trains a
        • Your general message is sound, however I think your numbers might be quite off. For instance in the Paris region, 44% of the commuting is done by public transportation, and 43% by car. I'd be surprised if it was so different in industrialized areas of the Netherlands (I've been there a few times, and as you say, the trains are packed full).
          • The numbers were a bit off but not that much: cars (driving and riding) account for almost 75% of traffic in the Netherlands by kilometer, public transport is 11%. Biking / walking is another 11%, and 5% "other", whatever the hell that is. Source [www.clo.nl]. Looking at commuters, around 5% of them take the train to work as opposed to 60% going by car (no numbers for other modes of public transport but it's likely not a large amount given the earlier stats)
      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        You have all missed one the really important factors driving the ban. Inner City and Suburbs prices will jump, as those cities and inner suburbs become a lot cleaner without the infernal combustion engine polluting the crap out of them. At a quick punt, ignoring the counter impact of underwater front properties, those values good double and in the US where inner suburbs devalued, increases even further. Developers with inner city and suburb properties will be screaming for the ban. People fail to realise ho

    • by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @04:13PM (#53043499)

      Have they thought of the implications this has on the trucking industry?

      Last I checked, the trucking industry don't use cars, but if you ask Tesla, trucks are ripe for being fully electric and more more cost effective already.

      Have they thought what this might do to low-income or fixed-income individuals who can't afford a car and suddenly left without transportation?

      Yes - Europe already solved that problem decades ago - it's called public transport.

      Where is the electricity or energy to create hydrogen fuel going to come from now that they've banned nuclear and don't want fossil fuels?

      It doesn't really matter - even if you assume the worst case scenario (basically, just burn coal out your ears), it's still a way way more efficient scenario than every individual car having a shitty efficiency ICE in it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        For people on low incomes, EVs should be better. Prices on new ones will reach parity with ICE soon, and used ones will be more reliable and cheaper to run. There are fewer things to go wrong, no spark plugs, no exhausts, no emissions to worry about, no lubricants or liquids beyond the windscreen washer fluid. Even the brake pads get less wear.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        Last I checked, the trucking industry don't use cars, but if you ask Tesla, trucks are ripe for being fully electric and more more cost effective already.

        Because Tesla X is totally the best choice for pulling a trailer, right?

        Yes - Europe already solved that problem decades ago - it's called public transport.

        If you live in fairly populated areas, yes. It's a lot better than in the US - not a very high bar - but in rural areas you definitively want a car in Europe too. Even if you could say 80% of the problem is solved, 20% is very much unsolved.

        It doesn't really matter - even if you assume the worst case scenario (basically, just burn coal out your ears), it's still a way way more efficient scenario than every individual car having a shitty efficiency ICE in it.

        Maybe if you said emissions efficiency... from what I understand the higher production efficiency gets eaten up by converting combustion (momentum) to electricity, transport, charging losses, parasit

        • Because Tesla X is totally the best choice for pulling a trailer, right?

          No one was talking about the model X:
          https://www.tesla.com/blog/mas... [tesla.com]

          Maybe if you said emissions efficiency... from what I understand the higher production efficiency gets eaten up by converting combustion (momentum) to electricity, transport, charging losses, parasitic losses when it's not running and so on. The nice thing is that you could have other energy sources like solar, wind and other renewables but if you're just centralizing the fossil fuel consumption it's not much of a win at all.

          You understand wrongly. The transport, charging and parasitic losses are extremely small, and in fact, arguably smaller than with petrol vehicles anyway. Remember - oil needs to be distilled into petrol (a very inefficient process), then transported by road to filling stations (once again by petrol/diesel burning vehicles), also very inefficiently, and then pumped out of the ground by yet another petrol burning motor. Paying attention

    • 2030. That's 15 years. Or into 'mature autodrive' by reasonable progress.
      Anyone claiming to make predictions out that far - through electric cars going up a hundredfoldish in volume - (35% growth) needs to have massive caveats on that.
      Secondly - this is Europe.
      With limited exceptions, it's very dense, and driving long distances is considerably more involved. (though see above autodrive comment).
      The tesla model 3 can be driven from one end of the UK to the other in 4 fills - and journies that take two are go

    • Have they thought of the implications this has on the trucking industry?

      What about the whale oil industry, that is struggling to make a comeback? Is Germany worrying about all those whale oil workers? No they are not.

      • Whale oil? Are you from Dunwall?

      • It's a bit different in Germany since Mercedes makes a lot of trucks... they have a *bit* more clout than whale oil workers.

        • It's a bit different in Germany since Mercedes makes a lot of trucks... they have a *bit* more clout than whale oil workers.

          That, plus the fact that this 2030 ban is all about cars, not trucks (from TFA).

      • Have they thought of the implications this has on the trucking industry?

        What about the whale oil industry, that is struggling to make a comeback? Is Germany worrying about all those whale oil workers? No they are not.

        I've always thought the ocean had too many whales in it. We should be harvesting whales to stop global warming.

    • by bazorg ( 911295 )

      Have they thought of the implications this has on the trucking industry?

      Probably they did.

      Have they thought what this might do to low-income or fixed-income individuals who can't afford a car and suddenly left without transportation?

      Yes they probably did. Even if the question shows only that you didn't read the article properly.

      Where is the electricity or energy to create hydrogen fuel going to come from now that they've banned nuclear and don't want fossil fuels?

      With those two options discarded, obviously has to be in renewable sources.

      What will happen to the jobs of independent gasoline retailers and distributors and other people involved in that part of the economy?

      Probably those jobs will be made obsolete. The guys who put whale oil in the street lamps will be happy to have someone to chat.

      And what about the total cost of ownership for a vehicle with comparable range?

      What about it? Is there a specific objection or just FUD?

      Why should anyone in Germany or elsewhere frame the comparison using the criteria of 2016 (well, 1966) when the law is about not buil

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      It won't affect them because it won't happen.
  • Slightly misleading (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09, 2016 @04:08PM (#53043463)

    I'm from Germany and the headline is slightly misleading. We have a parliamentary system with two chambers: the Bundestag and the Bundesrat. The former is similar to the US House of Representatives (with the additional duty of electing our chancellor, as we don't directly elect the leader of our executive branch), whereas the second is similar to how the US senate used to be before the passing of the 17th Amendment. In this case, only the Bundesrat called for this (in a non-binding resolution), but there was massive criticism of this from the two largest parties (CDU/CSU and SPD) in the Bundestag that form the coalition of the current federal government. However, in order for the resolution to get a majority in the Bundesrat, some States governed by coalitions consisting of either CDU/CSU or SPD and another party will have had to have voted in favor it.

    Also, I don't think EU Commission has the regulatory authority to institute this ban on its own, so if it tries to go forward with the ban, it will have to be in form of an EU directive, which has to be approved by both the EU Parliament and the EU Council. The latter consists of ministers of the governments of all EU countries - including the corresponding minister from the German government, which at least currently opposes this ban.

    To me, this reads more like a symbolic gesture from the Bundesrat, so that politicians can pat themselves on the back ("yeah, we've done something about climate change") without actually doing anything, because they well know that this will not actually become law. I might be proven wrong on that, but at the moment I seriously doubt that this ban has a chance of becoming law within the EU - especially because the German government will oppose this. (The German auto industry is still heavily focused on combustion engines, and the infrastructure available for electric cars in Germany is abysmal compared to other places, especially parts of the U.S. such as California. Germany has this reputation of being at the forefront of renewable energies, and that's true if you're talking about power plants and solar panels on homes and the such, but compared to many other first world nations, when it comes to cars Germany is actually severely behind in terms of new forms of fuel; and the traditional auto lobby here is really, really strong.)

  • Folks, chill. The ban is about emissions not ICEs. If you have an emission neutral ICE, you're good. Also they don't want to ban them entirely, they just want to ban new ones after 2030. Your ICE car from 2029 (if those still exist) is still allowed on the streets after 2030.

    I see a good chance for this law to be mostly cosmetic if it passes Bundesrat, Bundestag and perhaps European Parlament.
    If the experts are any bit of right, most new cars will be electric by then anyway.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      By setting a goal of 2030 it gives them to mandate to push for EV charging infrastructure. In some parts of Europe they are requiring local government to allow on-street charging for people who don't have driveways, for example.

    • by iris-n ( 1276146 )

      What is an emission neutral ICE? I don't think I have ever seen one.

      • I imagine it would have to be one attached to a solar power grid. (although technically emissions were used in the creation of that solar power grid).

        Germany's electric system is very heavily centered on renewables, but even they aren't emissions neutral.

    • According to VW all their cars are already emission neutral *Coughs*
  • All the vehicles thus far called zero emissions simply shift their emissions elsewhere. Operating an EV emits plenty of pollution, it's just that the power plants which generate the electricity get blamed for emitting it instead of the owners who drive the vehicles. Even if you're getting your electricity 100% from renewables, there's still the emissions during construction, refining of the materials needed to build PV cells and wind turbines, maintenance, etc. Same goes for hydrogen-powered vehicles - t
    • zero emissions simply shift their emissions elsewhere.

      No, they shift a FRACTION as many emissions elsewhere. Even if the entire electric grid burned coal, it would still be cleaner because large power generation is far more efficient than small-scale gasoline engines, and it's more practical to improve emissions on a few large power plants.

      And EVs actually get charged late at night, when demand is lower and a larger percentage of grid electricity is supplied by sources that can't be entirely turned off, li

    • Centralised generation is not efficient and causes less pollution even under a worst case scenario of an oil fired power plant. You wrote a lot of text only to be wrong in the premise.

  • by 2ms ( 232331 ) on Sunday October 09, 2016 @05:29PM (#53043867)
    It's astonishing to see the success of one little car from a recently tiny American upstart having such an incredible influence on the world. Just that one car being so great has the largest union of nations in the world talking about banning all other cars. It's just very impressive. I suppose the Model S will go down as similar in influence to the Model T. Funny how similar the names are. I wonder if Elon concievably had that in mind.
    • It's astonishing to see the success of one little car from a recently tiny American upstart having such an incredible influence on the world.

      That tiny American upstart being GM, and the little car being the EV1. That car showed the world EVs were soon to be practical, even having a big movie about it.

      Actually, that's not true, either. In truth, it all happened in parallel. California's version of the EPA, C.A.R.B. passed a mandate that made the production and sale of a small percentage of zero-emissions

    • You mean the Toyota Prius? Yeah that really did kick start the modern idea of electric motors in cars. It has had a huge effect.

    • by iris-n ( 1276146 )

      Wow. Are you just trolling? Or do you really think Tesla is the sole (or even major) responsible for this symbolic law in Germany? Wake up. The world is bigger than the US.

  • That's roughly about how long it takes to fill up a car with gasoline, so that's the bar they need to hit to be just as useful. It doesn't matter how much money you save in the long run on gasoline by using an electric car if you live in an apartment that doesn't have outlets for each car so you can charge an EV at night.

    Also, if a 300 second recharge was possible, then it would be feasible to drive anywhere as long as there was a charging infrastructure available, and any time spent charging would be n

  • Taxes are member state's business, the EU commission cannot create or standardize them.

    OTOH, the EU commission can sue member states for taxes that would distort their beloved holy free market. Hence I understand the point here is to make sure EU commission would not fight taxes incentive against internal combustion engine.

  • by Xenna ( 37238 )

    When I drive my Ampera (German Opel badged version of the Chevrolet Volt) in Germany people slow down their cars to look at it. Tiny Holland has twice as many EV's as the big neighbor Germany.

    This 'law' is just wishful thinking.

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