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Germans Call for Eco-Scrappage

German car manufacturers and politicians call for ‘eco-scrappage’ plan to boost sales of green cars.

Germany reopened car dealerships this week, and the country’s top auto executives and politicians are calling for an eco-scrappage plan to drive sales of EVs and other efficient vehicles. Auto executives, government officials, unions, and environmentalists all agree on the need for the programme, and it looks like a scheme will be introduced in May.

Bavarian premier Markus Soeder is calling for a programme like the cash-for-clunkers programme implemented by America and Europe a decade ago. In 2009, sales soared after European consumers were given up to about £2,000 to trade up to a fuel-efficient vehicle.

However, in 2009, few electric or hybrid vehicles were available for consumers to buy. So any eco-scrappage programme in 2020 would need to be redefined for the electric age, with incentives being designed around scrapping fossil fuel guzzling motors and getting EVs and other 'clean' vehicles on the roads instead.

Stephan Weil, the premier of Lower Saxony, the German state which owns a 20% stake in Volkswagen, voiced his support for an “eco-scrappage scheme” that would specifically boost demand for electric and hybrid cars.

Earlier this month, Ford became the first US automaker to propose a government stimulus programme along the lines of the 2009 “Cash For Clunkers” initiative.

Perhaps, all countries should institute such a programme in the coming months, enabling an instant, radical shift in reducing fossil fuel consumption and allowing us all to continue to enjoy much cleaner air.

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