Reuters is reporting today that the governing coalition in Germany is scheduled to “soon” pass self-driving car regulations. The laws if passed would allow testing of self-driving cars on public roads. Today’s report also corroborates previous reports that Germany is looking to provide incentives for buyers of electric vehicles…
Chancellor Angela Merkel told automakers today that they should soon be able to test self-driving vehicles on German roads by promising to remove legal barriers.
The ruling coalition will meet at the end of May to discuss next projects and if the to-do list is ready by then, the cabinet could go ahead with creating the legal basis to test such vehicles, she told an industry event in Berlin.
“That’s not a disputed topic in the coalition,” Merkel told an audience that included Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche.
Currently all three German automakers and Tier 1 auto supplier Bosch are approved to test self-driving cars in California, so these laws would finally allow testing in their home country.
Germany is home to Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes Benz, accounting for nearly 800,000 jobs across some of the largest employers in the country. Volkswagen was rocked last year when it admitted to cheating on emissions test for its diesel engine cars in the U.S. and many other countries. Diesel engine cars represent approximately 48% of all cars in Germany
EV incentives would — as they have in the United States — allow the the German manufacturers to boost sales of cars that can easily pass emissions tests without cheating. In March we reported that the country is considering a €5,000 incentive for electric vehicles starting in July and €3,000 for commercial vehicles decreasing by €500 each year.
Tesla sales in Germany were up 94% in 2015 compared to 2014 and up 35% Q1 2016 compared to Q1 2015. With EV incentives, these numbers would surely continue to grow.