Germany to fund transport change with €75 billion

17 September 2019

Germany to fund transport change with €75 billion

17 September 2019

In order to achieve climate targets, the German Transport Ministry is investing €75 billion to radically change the transport landscape by 2030.

A draft paper calls for at least seven million electric cars on German roads, every second bus to be electric and the building of kilometres of new bicycle paths, reports SÜddeutsche Zeitung.

Subsidies are planned for the purchase of electric cars, for the use of alternative fuels, and for the modernisation of the rail network. For the latter, the ministry has set aside billions of euros for an infrastructure fund that is intended to support the digital upgrade of the rail network for more than 10 years.

Less CO2 tonnage

Although traffic continues to grow, emissions of carbon dioxide must fall from 160 million tons per year to 95 million tons and the new proposal is expected to reduce output by between 58 and 69 million tons. However, there is scepticism about the plan within the government and beyond.

Greenpeace transport expert Tobias Austrup warns that the ′subsidy spree' will cost billions of taxpayer money and will not even achieve half of the necessary CO2 reduction.

Measures to support alternative fuels

In addition, the Transport Ministry is considering a purchase incentive of up to €4,000 for electric cars that cost less than €30,000. Electric taxis could benefit from an €8,000 subsidy and used electric cars could receive €500.

The charging infrastructure will be expanded to support up to 10 million electric cars and billions will be invested in the development of alternative fuels, including freight transport. Low-emission fuels will also be incentivised and vehicle and company-car taxation should be more based on CO2 emissions.

′We do not want to make climate protection a social issue, but one of innovation,' says Anja Weisgerber of the CSU party. Germany must be ′at the top of the movement' with alternative fuels, Weisgerber adds.

However, the proposals do not go far enough for the Green party. Transport politicians from the group call for a ban on the sale of internal combustion engines from 2030 onwards. Diesel subsidies should gradually disappear and fuel and ′gas guzzlers' should be more expensive. The Greens want to offset higher prices for mobility through a climate bonus for ′people who generate little CO2' and want to subsidise the purchase of electric cars with up to €5,000.