Diesel vehicles have long been a staple in the majority of European cities, but that may soon change. Several cities in Germany, as well as Rome and Milan, will soon be banning diesel vehicles. That’s a pretty substantial shift in terms of transportation. In Italy alone, about seventy percent of the cars sold are diesel powered, but now Rome plans to ban diesels completely in the next six years.
Rome’s decision is based on the damage that diesels do to its many monuments throughout the city. According to the culture ministry, the exhaust from diesels creates pollution that is seriously deteriorating more than 60 bronze statues and 3,600 stone sculptures throughout Rome.
Milan has jumped on that same bandwagon, albeit at a slower pace. The city plans to ban diesels entirely by 2030.
Germany is currently getting the most attention when it comes to major diesel bans. The cities of Stuttgart and Dusseldorf have already initiated a ban on diesel vehicles, but not everyone seems to be on board. The ban was recently challenged in court, but it was ruled that cities and municipalities indeed have the right to initiate bans on diesels.
While the ruling allowed for local bans, the courts suggested that some judgment be used. They suggested that the ban be implemented gradually and that exemptions should be granted for public service vehicles like police cars, garbage collectors, and ambulances.
Interestingly, the federal government in Germany appears to be against the bans and insists that federal bans won’t be coming anytime soon. The feds believe that there are alternative solutions to providing cleaner air which would not involve diesel bans. Mainly, an increase in electric cars for government use.
It seems that the German public is already preparing for a wide-scale ban, though. They’re not buying as many used diesel vehicles for fear that they won’t be able to resell them after a ban. This is creating a pretty substantial issue for the car industry in Germany. Diesels make up almost half of the new car registrations in Germany and citizens are already demanding that their vehicles be retrofitted with compliant equipment should a ban be implemented, and it would appear that this demand is getting some political support as well.