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Diesel summit: government increases financial aid by one billion

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Diesel summit in the Chancellery
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What have the federal, state and local governments agreed on?

The federal government is providing a further 932 million euros in the fight against air pollution in cities. It is increasing the “Immediate Clean Air Program” from 1.0 to 1.5 million. With the money from this pot, municipalities can pay for projects with which they fight against inner-city air pollution on site - for example by purchasing electric buses, expanding rental bike systems and the like. The federal government is providing 432 euros so that in the 65 German cities with the highest nitrogen oxide pollution ( h listed here ) municipal diesel vehicles and Delivery vans can be retrofitted with SCR catalytic converters.

The measures should help to avert diesel driving bans in city centers. They are for nine cities already decided . Now it is becoming increasingly clear that these should actually be monitored by automatic license plate scan ( more information can be found here ). According to Süddeutscher Zeitung, the federal government has already decided on legal changes. The federal government will support the municipalities in purchasing the necessary equipment.

What was that Result of the previous diesel summit?

At the beginning of November, Volkswagen and Daimler agreed to support the retrofitting of SCR catalytic converters. However, only in those 15 regions that were defined as particularly heavily polluted in the previous diesel summit. VW and Daimler want to pay up to 3,000 euros, with their older anddirty diesel catalytic converters can be retrofitted with AdBlue emission control. However, Volkswagen insists on not assuming all of the costs because they are afraid that this could act like an admission of guilt. Daimler does not attach any conditions to the payment. BMW continues to reject the retrofitting of the catalytic converter, but also wants to support affected drivers with 3,000 euros - for example to buy another car.

When could retrofits come?

Still unknown is how the foreign manufacturers behave on the subject. And when exactly the retrofits will come across the board. There is currently no end of the approval process in sight, which is why Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer is not assuming that it will be introduced before 2020. The first diesel driving bans are already active (Hamburg), and many more will be added in the coming year. In addition, there is no regulation as to how retrofitted cars can be labeled in order to protect them from driving bans.

When do hardware retrofits come into play?

When drivers use their Euro 5 diesel - the regulation applies exclusively to this emission standard - cannot or do not want to exchange it for another model. And if an SCR catalytic converter is basically 'available and suitable' for your model. Another condition: The nitrogen oxide emissions of the diesel must not exceed 270 milligrams per kilometer (mg /km). A surprising value, after all, the Euro 6 standard stipulates 80 mg /km; even the Euro 5 limit (180 mg /km) is lower. On the other hand, millions of old diesels emit a multiple of the actual NOx limit value, so the coalition still promises progress.

Who is responsible for retrofitted SCR systems?

The retrofitters themselves 'Everyone has to take responsibility for their components,' says Scheuer. Automakers fear that third-party SCR systems could cause damage or other defects such as loss of performance or increased fuel consumption.

Why is the automotive industry so skeptical?

Retrofitting SCR catalytic converters is 'not economically sensible and not technologically mature,' said Opel. Manufacturers fear not only the damage and defects just mentioned, but also ineffective systems at excessive costs. These could - depending on the model - be between 2,500 and 10,000 euros. The ADAC, on the other hand, names conversion costs of around 1,400 to 3,000 euros and has just confirmed the effectiveness of retrofitted SCR catalytic converters in a 10,000-kilometer endurance test. auto, motor und sport has already tested such systems with clearly positive results.

Which manufacturers are open to retrofitting?

So far, there have been reliable commitments from no manufacturer. Only Volkswagen and Daimler have quietConsent signals that, under certain circumstances, you want to support hardware upgrades. However, they only want to share part of the costs. VW also demands that the obligation also apply to foreign manufacturers. According to information from 'Spiegel', Volvo also has a cooperation with the catalyst manufacturer Dr. Pley started.

What happens in terms of exchange premiums?

The The coalition has committed the auto industry to 'offer an exchange program with attractive conversion bonuses or discounts' for Euro 4 and Euro 5 diesel cars, all at the expense of the car manufacturer. The loss in value, which the delivered vehicles “suffered due to the debate about their pollutant emissions”, should be compensated, according to the resolution. In the meantime, almost all German and some foreign car manufacturers have launched such programs. Most only offer the premiums when buying a new car, others also integrate young used cars.

What discounts do the manufacturers offer?

It varies greatly. When buying a new Mercedes car, Daimler grants a bonus of up to 10,000 euros, depending on the model selected. There is a discount of up to 5,000 euros for a used car from the Junge Star range. However, the Swabians attach strict conditions to this. BMW is even stricter. The people of Munich pay 6,000 euros for a new car and 4,500 euros for a used one, regardless of the BMW or mini model they choose. However, they only take back BMW and mini vehicles. VW wants to grant a discount of up to 5,000 euros, but makes the exact amount dependent on the diesel car exchanged. For all other manufacturers that have positioned themselves so far, the amount of the discount depends on the new vehicle selected. Ford grants up to 8,000 euros, Renault even up to 10,000. At Toyota and Nissan, the exchange premiums are capped at 5,000 euros. We have summarized how high the discounts for individual models are in the overview to the left of this paragraph.

In which cities do the new regulations apply?

The concept is not to be implemented directly across Germany, but in the 14 cities whose air is most heavily polluted by nitrogen oxides: Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne, Reutlingen, Düren, Hamburg, Limburg, Düsseldorf, Kiel, Heilbronn, Backnang, Darmstadt, Bochum and Ludwigsburg. There is also the special case of Frankfurt. The Main metropolis is not one of the particularly heavily polluted cities, but was recently sentenced by a court to a diesel driving ban.

What about commuters who regularly have to drive to these cities?

There are special rules for them. For residents living in counties bordering the 15 affected cities, the same rules apply as forCity dwellers. Just like for those people who can prove an employment relationship in one of the 15 cities. In addition, they should also be able to drive into one of the cities with a Euro 4 or Euro 5 diesel, provided that nitrogen oxide emissions do not exceed 270 mg /km. There are also hardship regulations. For example, when someone takes care of someone who lives in a no-drive zone. Or for self-employed people who have their headquarters in the city but live outside.

And the rest of Germany?

There could be more to the 15 cities named so far. Namely when a diesel driving ban is introduced there. According to Transport Minister Scheuer, this could potentially be the 65 cities that are currently above the annual average of 40 micrograms per square meter required by the EU.

Is the state not providing any funding at all?

Yes, for taxi companies, suppliers or craftsmen. Their vehicles, like municipal cars or buses, should be retrofitted with SCR systems as quickly as possible and on a large scale. 80 percent of the renovation costs should be able to be paid back by the state. '1.2 million vans, that modernizes itself very quickly,' said Scheuer at the press conference. He continues to see one of the biggest levers to get the air in city centers cleaner.

What about the blue sticker?

The new sticker for the windshield was always in Conversation in order to be able to differentiate between clean and dirty cars. After all, it is difficult to check which emissions standard a car meets and whether it is even allowed to drive into a zone in which older diesels are not allowed to drive. But with the new regulations, the blue sticker is now off the table. “This unspeakable discussion is over,” said Scheuer when presenting the concept. Instead, it should be possible to differentiate using the license plate number. In addition, the authorities should be able to directly access the data in the central vehicle register in the future.

For which cities have driving bans already been passed?

The first drive-through restrictions apply in Hamburg: Since May 31st, Sections of Max-Brauer-Allee and Stresemannstrasse only drive certain diesel engines. In Stuttgart, from January 1, 2019, diesel cars with the Euro 4 emissions standard or lower will no longer be allowed to drive into the city center. If this does not significantly improve the air quality, the driving ban is to be extended to Euro 5 diesel in 2020. From February 1, 2019, Frankfurt will block diesel with Euro 4 or lower. Euro 5 diesels are to follow from September 1st.

What was decided in previous Diesel summits?

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) announced almost exactly a year ago that for In 2018, an immediate program worth one billion euros will be launched. 750 million euros come fromThe federal government, the rest is contributed by the auto industry. Local authorities should be able to make use of this in order to implement local measures for better air quality. For example, modernize and electrify their bus fleets and install digital traffic systems in order to manage traffic flows more efficiently. In addition, the automakers committed themselves to software updates for their old diesels.

What did the measures achieve?

Too little, which is why the debate about nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel cars continued to be fierce and always more courts have ordered driving bans. Environmental groups had already predicted last year that the software updates would be of little use. And that the immediate program has largely fizzled out, Scheuer had to admit only recently. Hardly any money is called from the pot, and the money is used very differently by the municipalities. In addition, politicians criticize the overly complicated procedure with which municipalities can access funds from the one billion pot.

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