Abstract This study investigates the power of environmental zoning for promoting battery electric vehicles in order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Hamburg. Concepts of environmental zoning will be analysed to identify their GHG relevance and the specific role of electric mobility. The scenario calculations show that with the same number of vehicles as today the share of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) should rise to 75% to reach the GHG emission goal set by the government. However, it would not be enough to tax only commercial vehicles for entry into environmental zones; this must also apply to private vehicles. At the same time, energy consumption for charging would have to be improved, in ecological terms, by more than half in order to meet the desired climate targets. Environmental zones can be a measure to increase the proportion of BEVs, but further accompanying measures are required to achieve the GHG reduction targets.

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