Sales of new petrol and diesel cars in Germany will have to be phased out by 2030, in order for it to meet pollution targets, a minister has warned.

Deputy economy minister Rainer Baake said all new cars registered in Germany will have to be emissions free by 2030 if it is to meet its goal of reducing carbon dioxide output by 80-95% by 2050. Since cars typically have a 20-year lifespan, registrations of new diesel and gasoline cars need to be cut over the next 15 years, he explained.

“Fact is there’s been no reduction at all in CO2 emissions by transport since 1990,” Baake told a Tagesspiegel newspaper climate forum in Berlin. “We don’t have any answers to cut truck emissions right now but we do have answers for cars.”

However, electric car sales still remain a fraction of total German vehicle sales. About 130,000 hybrids and 25,000 all-electric cars had been registered in Germany as of January, compared with 30 million petrol cars and 14.5 million diesels, according to the KBA vehicle registration authority.

The Center of Automotive Management Institute forecasts that purely electric vehicles will account for about 8% of the country’s total vehicles in 2025 up from 0.6% this year. The government has so far stuck with a plan to put a million hybrid and battery plug-ins on the road by 2020 and six million by 2030.

Cash incentives are being introduced for buyers of all-electric and hybrid vehicles and these may help to increase sales to about 500,000 electric cars by 2020, according to the Environment Ministry.