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Politicians continue to drive diesel

The British climate envoy drives a diesel. Like many other politicians, also in Germany, she does not yet dare to drive an e-car - because of the lack of range and too long charging time. If even the politicians are not convinced, why should we be?

The pioneering role of politicians in choosing a means of transport leaves much to be desired. While some politicians, such as the prime minister of Holland, often do without cars altogether and travel by bike, many other politicians do not even opt for an e-car, but continue to drive diesel.

Just recently, the British member of parliament for climate change, Allegra Stratton, admitted to still driving an old VW Golf with a diesel engine herself. If she wanted to visit her relatives in distant parts of England, Scotland and Wales, an electric car would force her to take a longer break to charge at least once per journey. With young children, she therefore prefers to start with a full tank and not have to stop at all.

Edmund King, president of the British Automobile Association The AA explains this concern as unnecessary. On longer journeys of several hundred kilometres, one should take a break anyway. Moreover, with today's technology, an electric car no longer needs to be fully charged in between such journeys. A charging break of 20 minutes could be enough to fill the battery by a quarter.

Like many politicians in Germany, Stratton is not a role model for the mobility transition. While politicians preach the switch to e-mobility and also rely on it with regard to climate change and the 1.5 degree target, they themselves often do not want to get started.

Low emission zones have also increased significantly in the British Isles recently. The aim is to lock older diesels out of cities and force citizens to switch. In London, for example, there has been an Ultra Low Emission Zone in addition to the Low Emission Zone since 2019, which locks out cars with diesel engines with Euro standards 0 to 5. In addition, there are some streets in the boroughs of Islington and Hackney where only electric cars are now allowed to enter. In many other low emission zones, such as Bath and Glasgow, normal cars are not yet affected, but it is surely only a matter of time before these cities follow suit and tighten the rules of the low emission zones. Politicians like Stratton will then suffer more and more from the self-imposed rules and have to opt for an e-car.

Nevertheless, it would already be desirable that the very people who get their vehicles paid for by the taxpayer, perhaps have a home of their own where they can comfortably charge their vehicle overnight and send an assistant to the charging station at least before business trips with the car cannot advise the other citizens to spend a lot of money on an e-car when they themselves are still afraid of the low range and charging stops.

If the politicians cannot provide the impetus, it will have to be bans through environmental zones that further advance the mobility transition.