Germany's federal council, known as the Bundesrat, passed a resolution that calls to ban the sales of new cars with internal combustion engines by 2030.
The resolution is not yet made into law, but Germany is already calling for the rest of the European Union to think about doing the same, with the Bundesrat pushing for the European Commission to pass orders to assure that only zero-emissions passenger cars will be receiving approval by 2030 at the latest.
The Bundesrat is a legislative body representing Germany's 16 states. The resolution that was passed will require approval from the European Union, but it should be noted that regulations coming from Germany have traditionally shaped those of the rest of the European Union, which means that the push for zero-emission cars could very well spread across the rest of the member nations.
If the resolution is signed into law, customers will have to purchase zero-emissions vehicles by 2030, whether it be a hydrogen fuel cell-powered car or an electric car. By that year, they will no longer be able to buy gas-powered or diesel-powered vehicles.
In addition to the push for zero-emissions vehicles by 2030, the resolution is also calling for the European Commission to review the taxes and dues currently being applied for the "stimulation of emission-free mobility." In simpler terms, Germany is looking to improve the incentives for customers to purchase electric vehicles, while also possibly looking to put a stop to the tax advantages being enjoyed by diesel in many member countries of the European Union.
If such a move on ending diesel tax advantages would push through, it could signal the start of diesel's demise. Half of the vehicles in Europe are currently diesel-powered because of the lower price of diesel fuel and its better mileage, but these advantages will be wiped out if higher taxes would be applied.
Germany has pledged that it will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 80 percent to 95 percent by 2050, and it believes that the only way to keep that promise is to stop new car registrations of gas and diesel vehicles by 2030. It will then take about 20 years for the last vehicles with internal combustion engines to get off the streets.
The two biggest carmakers in Germany, Daimler and Volkswagen, have already started their push into the electric car industry. Last month, Daimler said that it will be rolling out as many as nine models of electric cars, while Volkswagen unveiled new images of its upcoming all-electric vehicle.