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Interview with Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer

Interview with Federal Transport Minister Scheuer
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Even after almost three Years there is no end in sight to the emissions scandal. New manipulations are constantly coming to light. What has to happen for this to finally stop?

I I'm very angry about the behavior in the executive floors of the auto industry. What is it that defines Germany's economic success? Seriousness, reliability and quality 'made in Germany'. Discussions about manipulation have scratched this seal. I cannot accept that new accusations keep coming up. That has to end now. Everyone involved must have finally heard the bang, also because hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on it.

Can you promise the citizens that the courts will not force the cities to use diesel? to lock out the city limits?

We now have a judgment with justification. That includes the key concept of proportionality. This means that there can only be bans if they are proportionate. A general ban is out of the question, and I will continue to fight against this. However, affected cities will have to influence their traffic. I can't yet say how far-reaching. But if you know that the limit values ​​on a street have been exceeded, you have to take concrete measures. We have already suggested them and we support them with grants.

That means, you can't promise anything?

I'll oppose anything Do driving bans. We are on a good way. In 2016 there were 90 cities that exceeded the limit values, in 2017 it was 66. At the end of 2018, we will have 5.3 million vehicles equipped with new software, which will further reduce emissions significantly. I am convinced that the number of cities affected will reach single digits relatively quickly. Then there are few “intensive cities” like Munich left. We then have to take care of that separately. But the shortening of the content bothers me at this point. An example: Hamburg is celebrating the port birthday. Everyone is enthusiastic and rightly happy. For this, huge ships with the energy needs of a medium-sized city come into the port. Nobody cares what environmental pollution this causes. Instead, they all concentrate in a way that is hard to beat in terms of passion on cars with diesel engines, which we continue to need - especially for long journeys, because of the lower consumption andthe CO2 pollution. In recent years, their pollutant emissions have been reduced by 70 percent and consumption by 40 percent. So we have to leave the church in the village. In addition to “no bans”, my goal is also “don't panic”.

But the EU is putting pressure on it. How do you want to appease this page?

We are in close contact with the EU. We presented a catalog of measures there. The EU Commission still has to evaluate the specific measures. That gives us time. These are funding packages worth billions - not just the diesel fund. These range from retrofitting diesel buses to digitizing parking space management to promoting hydrogen fuel cells, natural gas, synthetic fuels and electromobility.

What about them Promotion of diesel retrofitting for cars, which Environment Minister Svenja Schulze is calling for?

As far as this retrofit is concerned, we have legal, technical and financial concerns. I know we don't yet have a coordinated opinion in the federal government. I want the fleets to be renewed. You can't achieve that if you put three or five thousand euros into old vehicle material. We are also running out of time. The experts say the development will take 1.5 to three years. There are also legal questions. Who is responsible? Who will take responsibility? There are technical questions because you really have to dig deep into vehicle technology. The customer bought the car like that and certainly doesn't want it to drive 20 km /h slower or consume four liters more. That's totally weird. We think the manufacturers’s attractive upgrade bonuses are smarter. In Stuttgart, for example, 30 percent of the vehicles have been renewed since this discussion. This is where the discussion of manipulation and limit values ​​come together. Software updates and fleet renewals reduce pollutant emissions. This is our way.

Renewal costs money. Even owners of a young Euro 5 diesel are already struggling with extreme losses in value due to the emissions scandal and impending driving bans.

I cannot make any market statements. But it is disastrous when these discussions create a situation that has long-term effects on the entire industry, from the retailer to the manufacturer. I am also against the single mother panicking just because she drives an old Passat. The Germans were in charge at the European and global level in making the ongoing type approval procedure more transparent and more specific. We discussed this very actively at the European level. The majority relationships are difficult, however. We want a stricter and more transparent procedure that the other member states do not - probably for good reason.

auto motor und sport has been carrying out emissions tests for two years. Again and again we come across cars with massively exceeded limit values. Are the EU's values ​​properly defined?

We discussed the limit values ​​ten years ago. Back then everyone said: “Oh, that's only in ten years.” Even back then, as a reporter in the Bundestag, I said that limit values ​​should not only be decided politically and ideologically, but also have to be technically feasible. At some point, unfortunately, the manufacturer also went to their knees. In the end, some mixed calculations were made, and this resulted in today's limit values. But once they are fixed, everyone must adhere to them, even if the values ​​have arisen from a politically over-ambitious situation.

At least there are now reasons to look for alternative drives to dedicate. However, e-mobility is lagging behind in Germany. In your opinion, what is the bigger problem - the range or the charging infrastructure?

Infrastructure is the most important thing, and we do a lot there. 300 million euros will go into the charging infrastructure, with which we want to build 15,000 charging stations. We'll top it up again to get to 100,000 charging points. We also want to expand the network of hydrogen filling stations by 100 from currently 47 to 2019. Because nobody knows whether electromobility is the ultimate. Unfortunately, the Germans have put this strategy on the back burner at first and are being overtaken by foreign manufacturers like Toyota, who are building a hydrogen car in series. I'm angry. I want Germany to be open to technology. That is why we set up funding programs for electric buses, for example. But we need our own products for this. Germany has come a long way with these technologies, but we simply need too long - also when it comes to networking the infrastructure. What speaks against a hydrogen filling station at a train station supplying a train on one side and refueling cars on the other? We have to get started here.

Infrastructure is a good keyword. The traffic jam has increased again, by four percent last year. What needs to be done to ensure that Germany is free of traffic jams?

Invest, invest, invest. We have managed deficiencies in the transport infrastructure for many years. We have now reached a record level thanks to the investment ramp-up. As a result, there are more construction sites than ever before, and there will be traffic jams during construction - especially at critical junctions. But there are also bottlenecks like the Leverkusen Rhine Bridge as a major renovation project. I can't send the cars over on a ski jump. There are restrictions, but also the bright spot of a good infrastructure after the construction period. We will theFurther stabilize investment sums. That is important, there has never been so much money in the system.

What happened to the project to move the goods from the road to the rail?>

We are undiminished. Digitization will help us to further increase capacity. Trains can, for example, run more closely, and other logistical processes and concepts are possible - even in combined transport. But there will always be healthy competition between road and rail.

If you drive your car into a dead zone, who is to blame? Digital Minister Doro Bär, Chancellery Minister Helge Braun or you?

Unfortunately we do not have a state mobile network. But we're working together on the problem - including expanding broadband. Germany has the largest expansion program in Europe. A lot has happened already. The last five percent are now complicated, but we can manage that. I also know what you mean by the cellular network. I can no longer accept the white spots in the supply. We approach the honest analysis and have a massive focus on closing the cell phone holes quickly. My goal is that at least voice telephony is possible across the board. That is why there will be a mobile communications summit before the summer break, at which we will discuss not only the subject of 5G but also the white spots with the providers and how they can be eradicated from a structural policy perspective.

The 5G standard is important for autonomous driving. There is currently only one larger test track on the A 9. BMW is testing in China. Are we not adequately prepared?

We are testing a lot, and other test fields are in work - also across borders, for example with France and Luxembourg. Why is BMW testing in China? Perhaps to show abroad that the system not only works in traffic from Europe or on the A9, but also in Asia. Again: a lot is going on with us too. In this country, for example, the legal framework and the answering of ethical questions are already further and better regulated than anywhere else in the world.

Nevertheless, there are still no autonomous or semi-autonomous cars in our country in the street. Audi has already shown that they can do it.

We Germans are very precise and rightly cautious - whether with data or mobility - and perhaps a little less euphoric than others. But let's look at the Uber accident in the US. There the governor has to stop testing. I don't want to have to. If we do something like this, it has to work properly, otherwise trust is gone. German industry can play an absolute pioneering role here. Most of the patents on autonomous driving are here. Must nowwe just make sure that we don't lose them.


Born on September 26, 1974 in Passau

Member of the CSU since 1994

Member of the German Bundestag since 2002

2009 to 2013 Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Transport

2013 to 2018 Secretary General of the CSU

Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure since March 2018


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