The limousine of the Governing Mayor Michael Müller (SPD) is safe – and an environmental monster.

Photo: DAVIDS / Sven Darmer

Governing Mayor Michael Müller would have loved to get rid of this top rank. With 408 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer in real operation, the SPD politician, according to German environmental aid, drives one of the largest slingshots of prime ministers across Germany. This is hardly compatible with the ideals of a center-left government that is committed to driving the turnaround in traffic.

The governor therefore considered changing the company car. So far, the head of the Senate has been driving through the city with a Daimler MB S-Guard, according to a current statement by the Berlin administration. The S-Class from Mercedes-Benz is a special armored vehicle with a “special protection version” – in order to maintain the driving characteristics of the vehicle, which weighs almost five tons, the steel colossus requires a twelve-cylinder engine with over 500 hp. This increases gasoline consumption to almost twelve liters per hundred kilometers. According to the manufacturer, the car offers “unique security against attacks and threats from violent crime”. Since the Governing Mayor of Berlin is considered to be particularly at risk, he is obliged to use a vehicle of this security class.

Nevertheless, the Senate Chancellery recently looked around for more environmentally friendly alternatives. “Last year the governing mayor was offered a newly designed car that was to be completed in 2020,” says Mueller spokeswoman Melanie Reinsch. But nothing will become of the new purchase. “However, technical changes have prompted the Governing Mayor to continue driving the previous company car.” And: “Since it is a safety vehicle and not a production vehicle, it is not possible to receive a new company car in a timely manner,” said the spokeswoman . Melanie Reinsch does not provide any information on the background of the canceled purchase.

It is known that the state of Berlin uses German manufacturers wherever possible. Prime Ministers of other federal states often drive BMW or Audi. Müller’s alternative is also likely to come from this group. In any case, it is unlikely that he could have ordered a car from abroad. The governor will continue to roll through the city in his armored limousine. The criticism of the German environmental aid should therefore be safe for him.

Dorothee Saar, Head of Traffic and Air Pollution Control at Environmental Aid, confirms this. “If German manufacturers are unwilling or unable to offer models that are more environmentally friendly, then Berlin has to look elsewhere,” Saar says on request. “There may be manufacturers abroad who have better things on offer.” For Deutsche Umwelthilfe, this question is also related to political credibility. “Berlin has set itself pretty ambitious climate goals, but that has to be reflected in everyday life,” says Saar. And highlights Senator Katrin Lompscher (left). When she was responsible for the environmental department in 2007, she outdid everyone else with the Toyota Prius hybrid car in terms of low emissions.

This would make today’s Senator for Urban Development no longer a big exception. According to a current list of the leading internal administration, eleven of the 36 senators and state secretaries have hybrid cars. Nine can be driven around in electric cars. In addition to Katrin Lompscher, the current environmental senator Regine Günther (Greens) is traveling with a Tesla Model 3. The US automaker apparently does not count as a foreign manufacturer because it is known that he is building a new plant in Grünheide near Berlin, in which thousands of new jobs are to be created. Economic Senator of all things Ramona Pop (Greens) drives a Lexus with a model that is completely manufactured in Japan.