We’re no stranger to rising fuel prices here in New Zealand with 91 octane petrol now reaching all time highs of over $3.15 per litre.
But, politicians in Europe have proposed multiple ideas to combat rising fuel costs including driving bans to help reduce demand on petrol and diesel.
Co-leader of Germany’s Social Democratic Party, Saskia Esken, told Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel that she believes the possibility of a speed limit or driving ban is possible if fuel prices remain so high.
This approach echoes that of New Zealand’s carless days which were first introduced in mid-1979 forcing petrol car owners to nominate one day of the week where they couldn’t drive their vehicle to combat the second oil shock.
It lasted until 1980 when it was found the scheme had no effect on petrol consumption.
Esken also referred to Germany’s Energy Security Act from 1975 that “allows the government to order temporary measures such as driving bans on Sundays or a temporary speed limit.”
In extreme cases, this act can also place energy companies under trusteeship to be controlled by officials.
Calls for lower speed limits, more people to work from home, and a total ban on cars in inner cities have also been repeated by science journal Nature.
This all comes as a result of Russia’s war with Ukraine and the implications of sanctions placed on the energy giant which previously supplied Europe with 25 percent of its much needed oil.
The oil shortage in Europe has extended internationally to New Zealand with diesel now in short supply.
The lack of diesel could become a big issue with oil prices possibly surging to $175 a barrel later this year. One barrel of oil is currently at $120 but due to the higher refining cost of diesel, a higher oil barrel price would mean an increase at the pump for motorists too.