Germany wants to be less dependent on Russian energy supplies, so demands for a speed limit on motorways are growing stronger.
German city day: speed limit test
The director general of the German Association of Cities, Helmut Dedy, told the German news agency:
“From now on we will have to take a closer look at energy consumption. That is why we are calling for a speed limit to be examined now. This would allow us to exploit the potential savings immediately.” Helmut Dedy, Association of German Cities
A suspension of gas or oil supply from Russia is a realistic scenario, Dedy said. “We don’t want hysteria, but we want people and the economy to be more aware that a large-scale crisis can occur.”
FDP against the speed limit
The Bund Naturschutz is also in favor of a speed limit. “To reduce dependence on imported energy, energy savings must be achieved immediately,” Jens Hilgenberg, head of transport policy at Bund Naturschutz, told the dpa news agency. “In the transport sector, effective short-term measures such as a general speed limit of 100 kilometers per hour on motorways, car-free Sundays and a ban on short-haul flights must be implemented immediately.”
During the coalition negotiations between the SPD, the Greens and the FDP, the introduction of a general speed limit on German motorways failed due to resistance from the liberals. There was also a lack of a speed limit in a package of measures recently adopted by coalition leaders to save energy.
Early warning level of the gas emergency plan
Economy Minister Robert Habeck (Verdi) announced Wednesday the early warning level of a gas emergency plan, the first of three levels. This is intended to strengthen precautions for a possible stop of deliveries in Russia. The appeal went to consumers and companies to save energy. The Ministry of Economy stressed that security of supply is currently still guaranteed. From Habeck’s point of view, the payment of gas deliveries in rubles requested by Russia is a violation of supply contracts.
Dedy said cities supported Habeck’s stated early warning level. “We must take precautions at all levels and with all available means to prepare for a stop in supplies from Russia. This applies both strategically and practically.”
Carpool and use local public transport
Economist Veronika Grimm said Wednesday that it is important to send signals indicating that there could be an explosive situation if Russian energy supplies are cut off. One such sign could be the introduction of a general speed limit on motorways.
“People now have to consume less,” said Monika Schnitzer, like Grimm also a member of the Advisory Council for the Evaluation of General Economic Development. They should carpooling, drive slower and, if possible, use public transport, the economist said.
Consumption strongly dependent on speed
On the motorway, in particular, consumption per kilometer strongly depends on the speed traveled. According to the Federal Environment Agency, for example, a typical vehicle traveling at 90 kilometers per hour consumes 23% less fuel than a speed of 110 kilometers per hour.
Environmental groups have long called for the introduction of a general speed limit. Three weeks ago, the environmental organization Greenpeace proposed short-term measures to reduce Germany’s oil consumption and thus its dependence on Russian oil imports.
This includes introducing a temporary speed limit of 100km / h on motorways, 80km / h on country roads and 30km / h in cities for the duration of the conflict. This could improve traffic flow, reduce consumption-intensive speed changes and increase the efficiency of internal combustion engines.