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Cold as ICE: German legislators look to ban gas, diesel cars by 2030

Germany's upper house of parliament hopes that the entire EU will sign on to this resolution.

CANTON, MA - JULY 10: Computer engineer Craig Wedge is the founder of Diesels of New England, a group of diesel enthusiasts. Exhaust from his diesel truck is pictured. (Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Boston Globe, Boston Globe via Getty Images

Some cities, like Paris, have experimented with banning cars from city centers in an effort to cut down on pollution. Germany's Bundesrat, its upper house of parliament, is taking that one step further with a resolution that seeks to ban internal combustion in 2030.

The members of Germany's Bundesrat passed a resolution to ban both gasoline and diesel engines starting in 2030, Forbes reports, citing a story in the German-language Spiegel Magazin. Following that date, only zero-emission vehicles will be approved for manufacture, most of which will likely be battery-electric vehicles.

The resolution calls on the European Union to follow in its footsteps, but the Bundesrat resolution carries no official legislative power with the EU. It is, however, influential in creating regulations, so this resolution could get the EU Commission, headquartered in Brussels, to create a similar directive that actually carries weight.

Bundesrat's resolution also calls for revisiting the industry's current tax structure. As Forbes' Bertel Schmitt points out, diesel receives tax advantages, keeping popularity high, even in a time of concern over humankind's involvement in climate change. Raising taxes on diesel fuel may sway public sentiment toward other types of cars.

It appears that German automakers are quite prepared for this eventuality, whether or not the EU signs off on it. Volkswagen has committed to releasing more than two-dozen electric vehicles over the next decade. Mercedes is slowly committing itself to electric vehicles as well, as seen in the introduction of its EQ sub-brand. BMW is taking a slower approach, rolling out a number of plug-in hybrids this year, including a 7 Series variant.