How A Country Famous For Its Auto Industry Could Embrace Green Vehicles

Germany currently lags behind many of its European neighbors when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. But some people in the country have proposals to help the country catch up — without hurting its auto industry, which is one of the largest in the world.

Member of Parliament Dieter Janecek, who belongs to the Green Party, told HuffPost Germany this week that he has a plan to ban gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2025.

“The federal government must have the courage to enforce changes in the transport sector, to set the pace for innovation and set a clear direction for the transportation market,” Janecek said.

Projections show that Germany may not be on track to meet its current goal of having 1 million electric vehicles by 2020. Only 50,000 electric and hybrid cars have been registered in the country so far, and Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority shows that a scant 0.4 percent of the vehicles sold last year were electric.

One way to increase these numbers would be for the government to offer subsidies to people buying more environmentally friendly vehicles, according to a proposal by Green Party member MP Stephan Kühn. He recently asked parliament to apply a 5,000-euro subsidy for drivers interested in purchasing electric cars, and a 2,000-euro subsidy for those interested in buying hybrid vehicles, German news site The Local reported.

Janecek’s vision could be considered rather radical for a country with an automobile industry that employs some 750,000 people. In 2014, the revenue of Germany’s three largest carmakers — Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW — amounted to 413 billion euros, around 100 billion euros more than the country’s federal budget.

However, leaders in the automative market said earlier this year that Germany needs to —> Read More