A couple weeks ago, one of our resident columnists Ben Jervey
wrote about Cash For Clunkers
programs starting in various locales around the country. The idea is simple: local governments offer cash incentives for people to get their old, low-mileage, high-emissions cars off the road in exchange for buying new, inherently more efficient cars. The typical life of a car in U.S. is about 17 years, so clearing out the old end of that spectrum and replacing it with newer cars can go a long way to helping us reduce our environmental impact.Anyhow, Germany, it turns out, has recently adopted this approach, and its working really well. Really, really well. While globally car sales are tanking, the BBC reports
German car sales are actually up 22 percent right now due to the help of this program which offers a 2,500-euro incentive for participating. In fact, Germany just had its strongest February car sales in 10 years!Helping the environment and helping the economy-it's all the same thing these days.