Gewessler advance – complete ban on all combustion cars from 2040?

Just two days after the EU Commission put up for discussion its far-reaching plans to achieve the climate goals in transport, which had not yet been coordinated with the EU Parliament and the EU Council, Minister Leonore Gewessler presented her own mobility master plan for Austria – and it is even more drastic than the EU plan!

If Leonore Gewessler has his way, there will be a ban on new registrations for vehicles with combustion engines by 2030 at the latest. For 2040, it is even indirectly banning existing vehicles by announcing that the passenger car fleet will practically only consist of e-cars by 2040.

“Apart from the fact that it is questionable whether such a national solo effort would be compatible with EU law at all, this plan of the Minister unsettles millions of Austrian car owners,” says ÖAMTC Director Oliver Schmerold. “If Gewessler’s plans, which are apparently not coordinated within the government, lead to a loss of value of 2,000 euros per vehicle, Austrian car owners will suffer 10 billion euros in damage.”

“From our point of view, the plan contains only a few viable and realistic proposals in addition to flowery target descriptions. The majority consists of prohibitions and increases in price for car owners. One looks in vain for socially acceptable concepts,” said Schmerold.

E-fuels completely ignored
Another point that, from the club’s point of view, lacks foresight: the mobility master plan completely wipes the use of e-fuels in cars off the table. “There is no question that we need support for electromobility in all areas. But if we take the climate targets seriously, we must also make the existing fleet more climate-friendly. Therefore, in addition to e-cars, the use of sustainably produced renewable fuels is required. “

From the point of view of the ÖAMTC, Federal Chancellor Kurz, who has committed himself to being open to technology, demands Schmerold: “Also in terms of careful use of resources, it is more than questionable if a green environment minister should scrap five million vehicles with a value of around 45 billion euros as the only way outlined. “Gewessler’s plan foresees the use of synthetic fuels (so-called e-fuels), but only those produced in Austria – and only for air traffic and shipping. One answer to the question The minister, however, does not owe anything that speaks against its use in the existing car fleet, and there is no concept as to where the sustainable electricity should come from for charging the massively increasing number of e-cars and for domestic e-fuels production.

“Another strange destination”
Schmerold described a general reduction in personal mobility as a “further questionable goal of the master plan” – everyone should be on the move by more than ten percent less than today. This should include lower speed limits, especially 30 km / h in the city, extensive parking space management, driving bans , Reduction of the traffic areas for cars and increases in fuel prices can be achieved through additional CO2 pricing.

Expansion of public transport inconclusive
The ÖAMTC director, on the other hand, sees two things as cautiously positive: On the one hand, there are plans to expand public transport. The club also welcomes the existing approaches to expand the so-called micro-public transport or to put it on a new footing – but misses any details about a possible implementation. On the other hand, the plan to ensure more transparency when charging e-cars. A clear commitment to kWh instead of time-based billing is missing here as well.