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SUV-Hating German Politicians Propose The Unthinkable

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Will they manage to pass this law?

German automakers such as BMW have played a huge role in making SUVs and crossovers extremely popular, not only in Europe but around the whole world. For example, BMW’s largest factory, located in South Carolina, builds the X3, X4, X5, X6, and X7 for export to every corner of the globe. There are a few downsides to this vehicle segment, however, but the main one is fuel economy. Let’s face it, heavy SUVs are not exactly the most fuel efficient vehicles on the road, but hybrid technology certainly helps make a difference when it comes to lowering C02 emissions. But even that isn’t good enough for some German politicians.

According to Der Spiegel, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Greens, and The Left political parties have teamed up to take legal action against SUVs, which one politician described as "completely overpowered tank models.”

Ingrid Remmers, a member of The Left political party, claims that banning SUVs in the future will help protect the environment against excessive emissions. The proposed plan calls for various SUV sale-reducing methods to be employed. For example, SPD has called for the government to set ambitious fleet emissions limits for the EU. This will basically force automakers to develop even more fuel-efficient technologies. But Remmers went a step further. She demanded that Germany base the tax benefits it gives to company cars on an ecological criteria, incentivizing corporate customers to buy greener cars. It's a rule that has more teeth in Germany, where 80 percent of SUVs registered are company cars.

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The Greens also proposed an additional tax for SUV owners, who would be billed a certain amount per kilometer driven. "If you drive a lot and also produce many greenhouse gases with your car, you have to pay more,” said Baden-Württemberg’s Transport Minister Winfried Hermann, a Green Party member. These tax profits would be invested in future mobility solutions. Clearly, these proposals are not something automakers will ever support, and they will fight them tooth and nail. And because the German left-wing is currently in the opposition, nothing is likely to happen for now. But that could change very quickly during the next election.

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