Monday, August 6, 2007

The Umweltzonen Are Coming!

Some cities (like London) levy surcharges for vehicles that want to drive in congested areas.

Other cities (like Manila) forbid vehicles (based on each vehicle's registration number) from entering restricted zones at certain times on certain days.

Now, Germany is implementing a system that "grades" cars based on how "friendly" they are toward the environment. German cities will be divided into zones (Umweltzonen), ranked from 1-5. Only the most enviro-friendly vehicles, for example, would be able to enter zone 5. Special badges will be given to drivers when they register their vehicles in Germany that will show what zones their vehicles have been cleared to enter.

This strikes me as an interesting approach to the problems caused by vehicle emissions and congestion. It does seem to be a convoluted way to influence vehicle purchasing decisions (how to quantify the "cost" of not being able to drive into zone 5, for example). But it should help reduce air pollution in certain areas of their cities.

Autoblog has more.

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