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Deutsche Diesel Death, 470km Kona EV and BMW iX3 | 28 Feb 2018: Landmark German Diesel Ruling Allows Ban On Polluting Diesels | Hyundai Kona Electric Revealed In Online Presentation | Electric and Hybrid Cars Are Being Forced To Warn Pedestrians | BMW iX3 Is Seen Testing (Again!)

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Wednesday 28th February 2018. Coming up today we’ll talk about making electric cars louder, and Hyundai’s Kona Electric…   DIESEL? NEIN DANKE!   …but first, I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that a decision made in Germany today could be a landmark day in the history of how quickly we electrify our transport.   Not only is Germany the home of diesel sales, where until recently every other car purchased was a diesel, but it’s home to the world’s largest diesel manufacturers and the companies which supply them. Diesel sales in many countries are already falling off a cliff, without electric cars selling enough to make up the difference, causing huge headaches for the investments in factories, tooling and staff to make the millions of diesel engines which buyers no longer want.   But having said that, today’s decision by Germany’s Federal Administrative Court did not directly involve German car makers, it was an environmental group called Environmental Action Germany versus the cities of Stuttgart and Dusseldorf. There was an initial court ruling which recognised that pollution levels in those cities was far too high, and that banning cars was the most effective way to improve air quality. It’s because of this ruling that those two local states appealed.   However that appeal was dismissed, with Presiding Judge Andreas Korbmacher saying: “Bans are generally permissible and can be implemented”.   So it came down to a question about what is more important: car owners or public health.   The European commission reports that 400,000 people die prematurely annually due to air pollution, and the European Union are taking steps to force areas which exceed the agreed limits to take action.   Although this is a battle over the levels of Nitrogen Dioxide, it doesn’t reflect well for either Germany or its main car makers, as both opposed any form of ban.   Germany’s Volkswagen is already recovering from a period of extremely bad publicity from Dieselgate, and a recent story about emissions tests on animals, by investing heavily into electric cars and their supply chains. However any kind of resistance to clean up our air portrays car makers as anti-environment, with evidence of nitrogen dioxide causing respiratory disease and premature death,   So what’s at stake, and what changes? Initially nothing. To be clear, all this does it provides a legal background from which German municipalities can, and must, form policy to tackle pollution levels. And the quickest way to do that is with bans, which they are now allowed to do.     On a practical level, driving into city centres could become more difficult as bans will be enforced on days when pollution is high. Residual values of diesels are already under pressure too. That affects the finance arms of car makers which lease cars, or offer purchase plans, whose businesses are based on predicted residuals.   Potentially, some people are calling for those older diesels to be upgraded or retro fitted, with that expense being borne by the auto makers.   How do you even start to put a plan together which identifies which cars are to be banned? How do you choose the days when they’ll not be allowed to run?  How to do you enforce it? Some ideas today included special coloured licence plates or discs which show you have a diesel, but how will you know if you can drive it today?   That brings us back to EV’s. There is an inevitable snowball effect – and pardon the pun if you’re listening in parts of Europe where we’re fighting off extremely cold weather.  This decision could embolden other countries and cities to implement their own bans without fear of negative publicity or backlash.   Anecdotally, the reaction is that diesel is being banned. Watching the comments come in on twitter over the last few hours, there’s a general perception that diesels cars are being completely banned.   Secondly much reaction today could have quite easily said that diesels were being banned so buy a petrol, but people are

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