German Cities Ban 'Dirty Old Cars', Paris Goes Electric

Berlin, Cologne and Hanover have set up 'environmental zones' in their downtown districts that will restrict auto access.

Published: 03-Jan-2008

The city administrations of Berlin, Cologne and Hanover have set up 'environmental zones' in their downtown districts - and cars that exceed an emissions limit are banned from entering. Car owners will have to apply for special stickers proving that their vehicles meet the emissions standards, and fines will be imposed on cars caught inside the zone without the stickers. Further German cities are considering similar schemes.

In Paris, meanwhile, the city's mayor is launching a self-service hire scheme for electric vehicles. Bertrand Delanoe is planning a fleet of 2000 EVs, to be available to subscribers at numerous sites. Subscribers will be able to simply turn up, use their electronic swipe card to open and start the car, which they can then leave at any other location in the city. They will be charged on a pay-as-you-go basis.

The service is similar to the Velib bicycle-hire scheme already in operation, and Delanoe calculates that each electric vehicle could replace up to ten privately-owned cars on Paris' crowded streets.

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