Germany’s Bundesrat, one of its two top-level legislative bodies, voted in favor of banning internal combustion engines from its roads by the year 2030. Even though the ban has no teeth in Europe until the EU gives its stamp of approval, according to Bertel Schmitt’s Oct. 8th Forbes article, “German regulations traditionally have shaped EU and UNECE regulations.” The zero-emission vehicle movement has taken center stage and now it’s up to the EU.
On the heels of the recent global climate deal (The Paris Agreement), which holds nations responsible for “reducing harmful greenhouse gasses emitted by human activity,” electric carmakers, like Tesla, must be strategically positioning themselves for a European takeover. Just so happens Tesla preparation for its Model 3 launch has already put the machine in motion: Tesla locations are projected to spike from 215 in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific to 441 at the end of 2017, it’s safe to say that the pioneer of energy innovation is beyond ready to fulfill and service its 500,000 units currently in production.
From Germany’s bi-partisan zero-emissions agreement to diesel vehicle sales plummeting across Europe, things are happening in the region and it all points towards zero-emission electric cars. I can imagine Elon Musk springing out of bed, grinning ear-to-ear, awoken by a vivid dream featuring his brand new Model 3 sedan neck-to-neck with his Roadster on Germany’s autobahn. With Germany still wearing the crown as the world’s largest producers of automobiles, the prospect of capturing even the smallest portion of their market share must be exciting, yet nerve-racking – rightfully so…
If EU carmakers, required by law, were the only one’s given the contract to produce 13+ million electric cars per year needed in the region, Musk’s autobahn dream turns into a horrific nightmare. Tesla would be squeezed out of the European electric car market and miracles aside would be closing its doors. This is obviously a worse case scenario for Tesla; and make no mistake, it’s on their radar.
A recent autobahn accident caused by Tesla’s autopilot feature has the company in a bit of hot water. According to a recent Der Spiegel article, Tesla’s autopilot was declared by Germany’s transport ministry to be a “considerable traffic hazard.” With the country’s premier legislative body moving forward with zero-emission vehicles, Tesla might want to steer clear of Germany’s radar.
Outside of jockeying for European electric car market share in the year 2030, the movement toward zero-emission vehicles is a welcomed one. According to a Popular Science Oct. 10th article written by Kelsey D. Atherton, “the EPA estimates that a single passenger car emits about 4.7 metric tons of carbon monoxide per year.” Green party lawmakers Oliver Knischer in an interview with Spiegel said, “If the Paris agreement to curb climate-warning emission is to be taken seriously, no new combustion engine cars should be allowed on the roads in 2030.” With Germany’s top legislating body giving a resounding thumbs up and the Paris agreement supported by 200 countries, the dominos are in place to bring down greenhouse emissions to net zero in the next few decades.