Measurement and Testing
How Will Germany's Diesel Agreement Work?
Oct 16 2018 Read 681 Times
In the wake of a court case that saw Germany pursued by the European Commission for breaking air pollution laws, the country has upped its game and announced details of a new diesel agreement designed to tackle air pollution problems without ruffling the feathers of drivers and manufacturers.
The growing issue of NOx emissions has turbo-charged the need to transition away from diesel, with over 60 German cities exceeding limits set by the EU in 2017, including a handful of primary urban centres.
Government champions incentive schemes and retrofit options
In response to the disappointing figures, Germany's coalition government has released details of a wide-ranging diesel deal that outlines a series of measures that address the future of the country's older diesel vehicles. At a recent press conference, German Minister for the Environment Svenja Schulze revealed the agreement includes trade-in incentive schemes and retrofit options designed to help diesel drivers make the switch to more eco-friendly vehicles without footing the bill.
The agreement will apply to 14 German cities with high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution, including Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart and Dusseldorf. While diesel drivers aren't legally obliged to make the switch, funding of up to 80% on retrofit costs for heavy vehicles is expected to offer major incentive.
"I believe we've got a big deal on the way here," she said to reporters.
Automotive industry forced to take responsibility
Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer has confirmed that automobile manufacturers like VW have agreed to assist with diesel retrofits, though the exact details haven't yet been confirmed. Meanwhile, industry insiders have disclosed the company is strongly against a blanket retrofit approach, citing it as both expensive and time-consuming.
Following industry upsets like the VW "Dieselgate" scandal, the auto manufacturing industry has garnered little sympathy from the government or the general public.
For Scheuer, the agreement avoids issuing a driving ban, doesn't restrict mobility and ensures that diesel drivers don't incur extra costs. Instead, he asserts that it places the responsibility on the automotive industry and stresses that "carmakers need to understand the signal we are sending."
As the world works towards combating air pollution, the green energy industry is front of mind. For a closer look at the latest technologies shaping the renewables sphere don't miss 'Lubrication of Wind Turbines is Anything but a Breeze', which explores the unique challenges of harnessing the power of the wind.
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