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Draft plan would allow e-fuel combustion-engine cars after 2035 in EU

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Berlin/Brussels — The European Commission is set to settle a dispute with Germany over a move to phase out combustion engines, so that from 2035 onwards, if driving exclusively on climate-neutral electronic fuels, internal combustion engines will become the norm. Drafted a plan to allow the sale of new vehicles equipped with it. car.

A draft seen by Reuters on Tuesday proposes creating a new type of vehicle category in the European Union for cars that can only run on carbon-neutral fuels.

Such vehicles would have to use technology that would impede driving if other fuels were used, the draft says.

The proposal could provide a path for automakers to continue selling internal combustion engine vehicles beyond 2035. 2035 is the date when a planned EU law will ban the sale of his CO2 emitting new cars.

After months of negotiations, EU countries and the European Parliament agreed to the law last year. But Germany’s transport ministry surprised other countries this month with a last-minute challenge to the law, days before the final vote on the law taking effect.

The ministry’s main demand is for the EU to allow the sale of new cars that run on e-fuel after 2035. On Tuesday, the ministry said it was in contact with the European Commission to arrive at a solution to a problem that Germany’s powerful auto industry is eyeing. .

A spokesperson said, “We are interested in a quick clarification, but it must be resilient and binding. We are currently considering this carefully.”

Two sources familiar with the matter said the European Commission’s requirement that cars must be able to recognize CO2-neutral fuels derived from fossil fuels would force automakers to develop new engines, so it would be a big deal for Germany. said it was a problem.

Germany’s Transport Minister Volker Wissing did not want to reject the European Commission’s proposal outright, but rather some improvements, sources told Reuters.

The parties aim to secure an agreement by Thursday’s EU summit.

A spokesperson for the European Commission declined to comment on the draft, but noted comments from Frans Timmermans, the EU’s head of climate policy.

“Negotiations are ongoing between the commission and the German authorities,” a spokesperson said.

An EU official told Reuters on Monday that any proposals for registering e-fuel vehicles would only come after the final adoption of the internal combustion engine phase-out law.

E-fuel is made by combining captured CO2 emissions with hydrogen produced using CO2-free electricity.

They have not yet been produced on a large scale. All planned e-fuel projects around the world could cover 10% of Germany’s demand for e-fuel use in aviation, shipping and chemistry in the next few years, according to a study released Tuesday by the Potsdam Climate Institute. It turns out that you can only produce enough fuel to cover.

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