Saturday, 21 July, 2018

Germans divided over diesel vehicle ban ahead of landmark court ruling

Germany Diesel Ban Germany Diesel Ban
Nellie Chapman | 24 February, 2018, 12:13

One of Germany's top courts will rule on Thursday whether heavily polluting vehicles can be banned from the urban centres of Stuttgart and Düsseldorf, a landmark ruling which could cause traffic chaos and dramatically hit the value of diesel cars on the country's roads. The DUH is also pursuing bans in many other German cities.

If the appeal automakers will reject, it will lead to a sharp drop in demand for cars with diesel engines not only in Germany but throughout Europe.

While other countries are also considering restrictions on diesel cars, bans in the birthplace of the modern automobile would be a new blow for the auto industry, and an embarrassment for Chancellor Angela Merkel's government, which has backed it.

Although respondents in the YouGov poll were evenly split on diesel driving bans, 70 percent of them said the automotive industry has not done enough to lower its negative environmental impact so far, while 10 percent said they had trust in German carmakers.

The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig is hearing an appeal by two German states against lower court rulings that suggested driving bans for particularly dirty diesel cars would be effective and should be seriously considered as a means of protecting public health.

As proceedings got underway in Leipzig on Thursday, lawyers discussed whether the government would have to introduce a new way of labeling cars to enable authorities to enforce any bans. Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens are planning to ban diesel vehicles by 2025, while Copenhagen's mayor wants to outlaw new diesel cars from entering the Danish capital as early as next year. The government has been against city centre bans on diesels, fearing a backlash from drivers and a strain on public transport networks.

The move to outlaw diesels in major cities comes in the wake of the Dieselgate controversy, and follows indications from a number of major European cities that they planned to outlaw traditional petrol and diesel cars from central areas. Among German manufacturers, Daimler and BMW have the biggest proportion of diesel cars in their fleet, well ahead of VW.