The combustion engine debate is ongoing, and Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing is hopeful that his counter-offer to the EU proposal will lead to a solution. Wissing said that he had consulted closely with the EU Commission on the “future of new cars with combustion engines” and submitted a constructive proposal for a solution. He now expects the EU Commission to issue a corresponding declaration, name clear time targets, and initiate the process for corresponding legal acts.
Germany insists on allowing new cars with combustion engines that run on e-fuels, i.e., climate-neutral artificial fuels produced with green electricity. EU states and the European Parliament have agreed that only zero-emission new cars may be registered in the EU from 2035. The proposals of the EU Commission had become known at the beginning of the week, defining criteria for the approval of new vehicles that are operated exclusively with CO₂-neutral fuels.
FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai expects “very clear legal requirements” from the EU Commission, whereby combustion engines with e-fuels, with so-called synthetic fuels, are possible after 2035. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz defended the German position. However, the German approach was at least irritating for some partners, if not angering them. The Prime Minister of Latvia, Krisjanis Karins, called it a “very, very difficult sign for the future.”