Prohibition of internal combustion engines: The Germans are for it – with a narrow majority


Most recently, the move by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson caused a sensation: He wants to ban the sale of combustion engines on the island as early as 2030, ten years earlier than planned. He is following the example of some European countries in which the ban has already been adopted. Europe’s auto industry then referred to the plan as “symbolic politics”.

But is the accusation of populism so wrong? Hardly if you look at the opinion of the people in Germany: With a narrow margin, a majority in this country is in favor of a ban on cars with internal combustion engines. When it comes to the question of how quickly such a ban should come, there are different ideas, as from the representative survey by the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of the auto sales platform shows that the German press agency present.

42.8 percent are in favor of a ban, 42.3 percent against. The rest did not want to commit or gave no information. Most of the proponents, on the other hand, are in favor of an end to the combustion engine by 2030 at the latest, a little less in favor of 2025.

If you only count the survey participants who are also drivers themselves, the majority is against a ban on combustion engines. With 48.2 percent opponents and 41.0 percent supporters, the difference is not too great here either. According to the survey, a particularly large number of those who support the ban can be found in the group of 18 to 34-year-olds, where more than one in two is in favor and the tendency is also towards rapid implementation. There is least approval in the age group from 45 to 54 years.

A good 40 percent of all respondents do not believe, however, that a ban on internal combustion engines would be a suitable means of helping new technologies such as batteries or fuel cell powered cars to make a breakthrough. They are more likely to think that these will prevail on their own if the citizens are ready for it. On the other hand, almost 18 percent say that it won’t work without a ban. Around 31 percent think: partly, partly.

There are always very different demands in politics about a possible ban on combustion engines. Most recently, there had been discussions about a possible new Euro 7 emissions standard from 2025, in which the auto industry, if the considerations are implemented, sees a de facto end for combustion engines.


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