BERLIN -- Germany should soon start phasing out gasoline and diesel cars, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) said as Britain announced it would ban the sale of new fossil-fuel cars starting in 2040.
"We need to start getting rid of combustion technology in the short-term," Oliver Wittke, a transport expert in Merkel's CDU, told Deutschlandfunk radio.
Wittke said it was unacceptable to let Britain lead the way while Germany, the home of major automakers such as Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW, was lagging behind.
Herbert Behrens, a transport expert in the radical Left party, also said the government should start taking action now so that it could cope without fossil fuels by 2050. "Today we can start setting out political guidelines and the framework so the automobile industry and employees know what's in store for us," he said, adding there was insufficient investment in electric cars.
Germany's auto industry has suffered an image blow after Der Spiegel reported on Friday that Volkswagen, BMW, Audi and Porsche may have colluded to fix the prices of diesel emissions treatment systems. EU antitrust regulators are investigating allegations of a cartel.
On Wednesday, UK environment minister Michael Gove said Britain will ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars from 2040 as part of a plan to get them off the roads altogether 10 years later.