HEIDELBERG, Germany — Eckart Würzner, a mayor on a mission to make his city emission free, is not terribly impressed by promises from General Motors, Ford and other big automakers to swear off fossil fuels.
Mr. Würzner’s goal is to reduce dependence on cars, no matter where they get their juice. Heidelberg is buying a fleet of hydrogen-powered buses, building a network of bicycle “superhighways” to the suburbs and designing neighborhoods to discourage all vehicles and encourage walking. Residents who give up their cars get to ride public transportation free for a year.
“If you need a car, use car sharing,” Mr. Würzner said in an interview at Heidelberg’s Baroque-style City Hall, which was nearly deserted because of the pandemic. “If you can’t use car sharing because you’re living too far outside and there is no mass transportation, then use the car, but just to the train station and not to downtown.”