Unsatisfied with the slow pace of electric car adoption despite subsidies for all-electric drivers, Germany's legislature is calling for a ban on traditional gas combustion engines by 2030.
Lawmakers in the country reached a bipartisan agreement to phase out gas-powered vehicles completely within 14 years, limiting drivers to zero-emmissions transportation such as electric cars, according to Germany's Der Spiegel.
German officials say the move signals their commitment to reducing greenhouse gases.
“If the Paris agreement to curb climate-warming emissions is to be taken seriously, no new combustion engine cars should be allowed on roads after 2030," German lawmaker Oliver Krischer told Der Spiegel, EcoWatch reports.
Germany gave birth to the concept of the combustion engine when inventor Karl Benz patented a "vehicle powered by a gas engine" in 1886. Benz's efforts were combined with Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft's Mercedes to form Daimler-Benz, which would be called Mercedes-Benz in 1926, going on to become the global car manufacturer of modern days.
Germany's lawmakers don't want to stop at banning gas-powered vehicles in their own country. As Spiegel notes, Germany's Bundesrat called on the rest of the European Union to follow its lead. Analysts say the rest of the EU could be tugged along because of Germany's leadership and influence.
The country is also home to one of the world's largest car markets, with Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volkswagen all planning on introducing more electric vehicles -- and electric-only versions of current vehicle lines -- within the next few years.
"We're ready for the launch of an electric product offensive that will cover all vehicle segments, from the compact to the luxury class," Daimler AG Chief Executive Officer Dieter Zetsche said during September's Paris Auto Show, according to Bloomberg.
Emboldened by the success of U.S. electric car maker Tesla, German and European car companies say they're focused on creating sleek, powerful electric cars designed to appeal to consumers across the spectrum. Tesla is widely credited with proving that electric cars don't have to be boxy, underpowered eyesores when the company released its acclaimed Roadster in 2008.
Eric Feunteun, Renault’s chief of electric vehicles, told Bloomberg that the market is ready to go mainstream.
“Our vision of the electric market," he said, "is that it is not a niche market."