Merkel and Daimler failed to save diesel cars: more than 80% – under the ban!May 22, 2018
In just one day, at the decree of the European Commission, the German court put an end to diesel cars, except those that meet the Euro-6 standards. The decision has already come into action …
Last Friday, just one day after the European Commission filed a complaint, the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig satisfied the demands of European officials. The latter argued that air quality in German cities, especially in the concentration of nitrogen oxides, does not correspond to what is prescribed in the rules of the European Union. These cities include, among others, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart. As far as NOx is concerned, cars with diesel engines that do not meet the Euro-6 standards are designated as the culprits for this state of affairs, and now in Germany according to Automotive News data about 2.7 million, while the total number of diesel engines in operation – about 15 million. Although the court decision came into force, it leaves the right of local authorities to introduce a ban in stages. Meanwhile, in Hamburg, road services are already in full force to establish the appropriate road signs – the ban is expected for a month.
It is interesting that such a decision does not at all put an end to the future of diesel cars, especially since they have strong defenders in Germany. So, Angela Merkel, which the opposition constantly accuses of close ties with automakers, and her ministers have repeatedly championed diesel engines, especially this year. In addition, very often land governments hold car brand shares, for example, Lower Saxony owns a stake in Volkswagen, and members of the government of the land are on the company’s supervisory board. It is clear that in such cases, all parties in Germany are interested in as much as possible to smooth out pressure from the European Union.
Meanwhile, just as in March, the head of Daimler, Dieter Zetsche spoke in defense of diesel engines, indicating that their popularity among Mercedes-Benz customers in 2017 even increased. According to Zetsche, the air is polluted not by nitrogen oxides, but carbon dioxide, which gasoline engines throw out in much more quantity than diesel engines. That is, translating the words Zetsche into the language of the layman, the more diesels, the air is cleaner.
Recall that experts ACEA recorded a decline in the proportion of diesel engines in the segment of new cars in the EU countries since 2013 – a year earlier the share reached its peak and amounted to 55%. This is due to the massive emergence of gasoline downsizing engines. Moreover, if it were not for the manufacturers of the “Big German Three” and Fiat, the share of new machines with heavy fuel units would now be no more than 35%, while according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association in the 15 leading economies of the European Union In 2017 it was 44.8%.
In Germany, in 2017, in the segment of new cars (according to ACEA) diesel engines were defended by 38.7%, in France – 47.3%, in the UK – 42.0%. At the same time, there are countries where the proportion of diesel engines is half or even higher: Austria, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal. So it’s too early to speak about the final defeat of diesel engines.
Meanwhile, Germany is not the first country in Europe, where the owners of diesel cars are being pressured. A year and a half ago, the authorities of France introduced a system of “colored stickers” that were mandatory for placement on the windshield. In passing, local authorities were allowed to organize zones with a low exhaust content. As a result, cars with a sticker of gray color (it was received by cars with diesel engines at the number of Euro-2 and below) can not now enter Paris. In the UK in some places parking for any diesel (including Euro-6) is more expensive (often, twice) than for gasoline cars.