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German ministry rejects calls for modern diesel tax incentives

German ministry rejects calls for modern diesel tax incentives

BERLIN: The German environment ministry has rejected calls from two of the country’s states for tax incentives to promote the sale of low-emission modern diesel and electric cars.

Representatives of Germany’s federal government, states and major automakers will meet on Wednesday to discuss ways to avert driving bans on diesel cars, which have drawn public attention since Volkswagen’s emissions test-cheating scandal broke almost two years ago.

Stephan Weil, prime minister of Lower Saxony, VW’s home state, has proposed financial incentives for drivers of older diesel cars to switch to more efficient models, while Horst Seehofer, the premier of Bavaria – home to BMW – wants car tax to be lowered for owners of diesel models designed to meet the latest Euro-6 emission standards.

But the environment ministry, one of the hosts of the August 2 diesel summit, is rejecting the proposals.

“We are not particularly interested in supporting a technology that in the foreseeable future no longer belongs on the roads anyway,” a spokeswoman for the Berlin-based ministry said on Saturday.

Instead, carmakers and politicians have worked on a plan to tackle diesel pollution and improve air quality by updating engine management software on some older vehicles to make exhaust filter systems more effective.