That’s it. Diesel is dead.
Stuttgart, home to Germany’s Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, said on Tuesday it will ban from next year diesel cars which do not meet the latest emissions standards from entering the city on days when pollution is heavy.
Only around 10 percent of diesel cars in use on German roads at the start of 2016 conformed with the “Euro 6” standard, which is the latest EU anti-pollution rule.
Engines which adhere to the standard produce fewer nitrogen oxide fine particle emissions, which cause respiratory disease.
Particulates often exceed thresholds set by the European Union in at least 90 German towns, including Stuttgart, which is particularly affected because it is in a valley.
Germany has already been sued by the EU for exceeding those thresholds for more than a maximum of 35 days per year.
Exceptions to the ban in Stuttgart, which is the capital of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and governed by a coalition of the environmental Greens and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, could be granted for goods vehicles.
Frankfurter Allgemeine leads its business section with the decision by the state government of Baden-Wuerttemberg to ban diesel cars in Stuttgart, the state capital. Stuttgart is Germany’s equivalent of Motown, the home of both Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. Furthermore, a court in Bavaria has asked the state government to consider a similar ban for Munich. The sales statistics also support the trend against the diesel car. In February, the number of diesel cars sold sank by 10%, while the rest of the market was largely stable.
Frankfurter Allgemeine is really incensed about this trend. The diesel cars have fewer carbon dioxide emissions, and Germany will find it harder to meet its climate goals if people switch from diesel to petrol. The problem with diesel is, of course, the pollution by an emission of fine particles, the concentration of which is particularly high in big cities.
Around 90% of all German diesel cars – those that do not fulfill the Euro 6 emissions norms – are affected. There are further court cases in favor of a similar rule for the cities of Berlin, Essen, Cologne, Aachen, Frankfurt and Mainz, FAZ reports. This means that diesel will become a rogue technology very soon. Owners of diesel cars may be able to sue for compensation, but the political trend in Germany is now clearly against diesel technology.
So, who wants a car that cannot be used in some circumstances, and may not be allowed in the future at all?
And if Germany halts Diesel production, can the US (led by California) be far behind?
Mike “Mish” Shedlock