There is a great debate in Germany due to the mandatory banning of old diesel models. The government expects manufacturers to pay for cleaning most of these cars’ engines.
Federal Transport Minister Andreas Schreuer negotiated with car manufacturers and representatives of Daimler and Volkswagen and the two companies agreed to cover up to € 3,000 per car to reduce emissions of diesel engines older than 2014 – less than Euro 6. The two manufacturers have also promised to install the necessary exhaust gas purification equipment in their older diesel engines, although this may not be possible before 2020.
The problem was due to a court ruling stating that the ban on old diesel cars in cities with contaminated air above the limit is legal. As a result, German cities started to impose a series of restrictions. These prohibitions, of course, do not take effect immediately, but eventually older diesel vehicles will be banned gradually starting next Spring.
Post-cleaning of diesel engines, of course, raises serious technical problems – it is not clear that it is entirely possible – but Mercedes and Volkswagen assume the task. BMW says instead it is planning to pay a discount (the same amount of 3000 euros as what Mercedes and VW are estimating for their retrofit operations) for customers willing to replace older diesel cars entirely, but they do not see the retrofit of a better catalytic converter as viable, saying this is too expensive and can not guarantee efficiency. Peugeot, and other market players have also indicated that it would not be feasible to convert old diesel engines to Euro 6.
So far Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne and Bonn have decided to ban old diesel cars in the next period, but in the coming years it is expected that additional cities will be bound by a court decision to introduce traffic restrictions as well.