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German cities snub bus lane perk for e-cars

DPA Berlin | Updated on August 28, 2014 Published on August 28, 2014

German cities are opposed to government plans to allow all-electric and hybrid cars to use bus lanes in urban areas.

Berlin is keen to jump-start the sluggish home market for the zero—emission runabouts without offering tax breaks or other financial incentives. The measures are being lined up to take effect from February 15 next year.

The plans from Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt also include free parking. Germany’s Association of Cities opposes the plan and officials in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and Cologne intend not to implement the rules.

“Allowing a small number of electric cars to get in the way of mass public transport does not amount to the kind of public transport policy we want,” said a spokesman for the environmental department of Bremen city council.

Talking to Spiegel Online, federal consumer watchdog Ottmar Lell criticised a clause in the draft plans which would allow cars such as the 461-horsepower Porsche Cayenne plug-in hybrid to use bus lanes despite the car’s only marginal contribution towards lowering overall emissions.

Published on August 28, 2014
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