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Parking spaces for shared cars in Dresden


Sylvio Dittrich / IMAGO

The Federal Ministries of Transport and Economic Affairs have called off an amendment to the Car Sharing Act at the last minute. In its coalition committee in March, the traffic light had agreed on "a faster conversion of car-sharing fleets to CO2-neutral drives". The climate-friendly drive is to become "a suitability criterion for approval" from 2026. According to SPIEGEL information, this obligation is now off the table.

A draft already finalized in the Ministry of Transport envisaged that the fleets of rental vehicles and rental cars should include ten percent more CO2024-free cars every year from 2 onwards. To do this, operators such as ShareNow, Sixt or Miles would have had to switch completely to electric cars by 2035. In particular, the many providers of shared cars with fixed stations, often small clubs in small or medium-sized towns, feared a duty that was difficult to fulfill. "As the first mobility company ever" fixed electric quotas would be prescribed to the operators, according to the Federal Association of Car Sharing – while subsidies for the associated charging infrastructure were lacking and the purchase premium for commercial electric cars expires as early as September, earlier than for private vehicles.

The companies resisted this – apparently with success. The Ministry of Economic Affairs, which had originally attached great importance to the regulation, is said to have refused to give its consent. This means that the project is dead, according to the Ministry of Transport. The new car-sharing law should be one of the measures to close the gap in achieving climate targets in transport. With this, the Federal Government is violating the Climate Protection Act and the targets laid down in it for each sector.

There were several disputes between Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) and Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens). According to the law, Wissing would have to submit an immediate program by mid-July to meet the targets and offset the excessive emissions from the past two years. In the meantime, Habeck has presented a draft for the amendment to the law. This means that not every single sector has to achieve its targets every single year. If the law were to be passed in the Bundestag after the summer recess, there would be no pressure on Wissing to reduce CO2 emissions in transport more strongly, for example with a climate-friendly car sharing law.