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Is this the straw that breaks the diesel powered camel’s back? 
Peter Schmidt | Editor

Published: Fri, 02nd March 2018 14:50:18 GMT

Germany diesel bans Leipzig February 2018

"As if Europe’s already hounded diesel car makers did not have enough on their plate. Tuesday’s much-awaited decision of Germany’s highest administrative court, effectively giving its legal blessing to a much-feared future city ban for some higher polluting diesels, is yet another nail in the coffin of diesel powered cars. 

To improve air quality in cities, the Leipzig court ruling gives the thumbs up for future city diesel bans, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that some German cities such as Stuttgart or Munich, hard-pressed to act by existing laws on the air-quality, will now automatically implement these much-feared bans. 

Essentially, the ruling gives the green light for the phased introduction of city driving bans for older diesels. 

It probably means vehicles with emission standards of Euro 4 and below. 

Moreover, it seems likely that drivers of Euro 5 diesels cannot be banned until September 1 next year at the earliest. 

This is a fair ruling for the legal enforcement of vital clean air standards in cities. 

Nevertheless, the mere idea that cities can ban older diesels will surely be enough to send tremors through Germany’s car buying public, effectively giving the last rites to Germany’s diesel car market. 

The main reason? 

Lingering uncertainty in consumers’ minds as to the future treatment of diesel vehicles. 

This includes latest technology Euro 6 diesels. 


Some studies have shown that some exceed officially certified NOx levels by a long way. 

For hard-struck German owners of say Euro 5 diesels, is there a realistic alternative? Yes, there is. 

A complex hardware modification to upgrade the diesel exhaust emissions on their older cars to a significantly cleaner standard. 

Signs are that such a conversion to today’s highest emission standard of SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) does indeed work. 

That’s according to a series of test carried out very recently by Germany’s ADAC. 

The question is, however, who will ultimately pay for the hardware modification?

The likelihood now is that already weak underlying demand for new diesel cars, given that diesels meeting the EU5 standard and below could be legally banned from city centres, will take a further steep dive. 

One likely issue following the Leipzig court ruling: residual values of EU5 and lower diesels are also likely to take a real hammering. 

This German ruling will also get this particular ball rolling in most of Europe’s other cities. 

For Europe’s previously flourishing diesel car market, this latest German ruling on the legality of banning higher polluting diesels from city centres, is likely to turn into the proverbial final straw that broke the camel’s back. 

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