T he city, the NRW environment ministry and the district government want Avoid diesel driving bans by setting up environmental lanes and a new clean air plan. Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) is currently fighting in Düsseldorf to enforce driving bans before the Higher Administrative Court. At the end of 2015, environmental traces failed in nearby Aachen. The then spokesman for the city and current advisor to Mayor Marcel Philipp, Axel Costard, however, stated: “From the point of view of the administration, the use of bus lanes by e-cars is out of the question.” The reason: By releasing the bus lanes for electric vehicles, the inhibition threshold could be overcome Decline to use them with conventional cars.
Now the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, located around 80 kilometers northeast of Aachen, would like to have several environmental lanes in the next few months that can only be used by buses, cyclists, e-cars and taxis may be driven on. The decision is the result of a special meeting of the regulatory and transport committee of the city council with the district representatives 1 and 3. The first streets are already known: Merowinger- and Prinz-Georg-Straße (initially for one year). Another large lane across the city center from Werstener Kreuz to Kaiserstraße is being checked. It is still unclear whether car pools can also use these lanes.
Bus lane + e-cars=environmental lane
What the creation of environmental lanes should achieve is clear: Such advantages would make owning electric cars more attractive, and more electric cars, according to the calculation, would produce fewer emissions in the city and thus better air. The shot could, howeveralso backfire, because there will probably not be less traffic. Since the cities on the Rhine and Ruhr have no space for another lane in their centers, a complete lane would have to be withdrawn from conventional combustion engine traffic. Then the non-e-cars, which are still in the majority for the foreseeable future, would surely accumulate so much that the emission of pollutants would probably rise sharply. In some cases the environmental lane is likely to be created by simply renaming a bus lane (as expected on Merowingerstraße). There is also no less traffic, especially not in the short term (the new clean air plan comes into force on February 1st.
Other ideas from the city fathers sound more effective, such as the creation of Park & Ride parking spaces or the ban on mooring for ships that also generate their on-board power in the port with ship diesel. Instead, moored ships should be supplied with electricity onshore.
In our Picture Gallery you can get an overview of the current status of applications for eligible electric cars and plug-in hybrids in Germany.