German minister promises billions of euros for green transport
Transport minister Andreas Scheuer has laid out plans in a draft paper for a multi-billion-euro package to promote environmentally-friendly transportation in Germany. Here is an overview of his key proposals, which will be debated by the so-called “Climate Cabinet” in the coming days.
Extra 1,5 billion euros for rail construction in Germany
Scheuer has long been promising drastic measures to cut CO2 emissions from transport. With this paper he puts this promise into concrete terms, reaffirming his intention to double funds for the construction and reconstruction of the railways to 3 billion euros per year.
Travelling by train should become more attractive with Scheuer’s plan to reduce VAT on tickets for long-distance rail travel. To allow more passenger trains to operate, Germany’s whole fleet will be upgraded with modern control technology that permits denser traffic on the tracks.
Higher subsidies for buying electric cars
Nowadays, cars account for around 60 percent of traffic emissions. According to Scheuer’s plans, therefore, a huge push is needed to promote other forms of transport. The government is focusing specifically on electromobility and plans to bring at least seven million electric and hybrid vehicles to Germany by 2030.
To help people make the switch to electric, a significantly higher subsidy will be available to those who wish to purchase small electric cars costing less than 30.000 euros - rising from 2.000 to 4.000 euros between 2021 and 2022, before sinking again slightly by 2024.
Clean transport in German cities
To clean up Germany’s cities, Scheuer is promoting a mixture of clean buses, dense public transport networks and cycling. By 2030, half of city buses will be electric, thanks to public funding. S-Bahn, U-Bahn and tram networks will be made more comprehensive and more bike paths will be added.