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No, Germany isn't mandating electric cars -- not yet, at least

Despite reports from a number of sources, there is no firm plan in place to kill off the gas-powered car in Germany.

BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 24: Reichstag building with flag on February 24, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Marie Waldmann/Photothek via Getty Images)
Marie Waldmann, Photothek via Getty Images

Believe it or not, not every news story on the internet is entirely true. You might have seen a story or two that discusses Germany mandating electric cars by 2030. While the European country is in some dire straits, emissions-wise, there's simply no truth to this idea of a mandate.

If you chase it down to the original report in Bloomberg, the story is actually about the tough time Germany will face to meet its goal of cutting nearly all of its carbon dioxide output by 2050.

At the current rate, electric-vehicle sales aren't high enough to cause that big of a dent. Thus, the race is on to increase EV adoption rates, and one of the tricks up Germany's sleeve involves subsidies, as EVs are generally more expensive than their gas-powered counterparts.

Based on the little progress made thus far, all new German cars will need to be emissions-free by 2030 in order to make the 2050 goal feasible. No mandate, no new laws -- just a "we need to get this done" statement by a government minister, with no real rules attached. Just because I say, "I must clean out my gross basement," doesn't mean I'm actually in the process of doing it. (True story, that one.)

Would a mandate help Germany achieve this goal? Absolutely, as it's one of many different strategies that I'm sure the government has discussed to some degree. But there's nothing set in stone just yet, and in all likelihood, Germany will do what it can to decrease emissions without directly forcing people's hands.

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