The German free-market liberal party, FDP, is proposing a compromise to the European Union regarding the phase-out of combustion engines. FDP Transport Minister Volker Wissing suggests that cars that only fill up with e-fuels be allowed to be registered in the EU. Wissing has submitted a proposal for a solution to the EU Commission. The proposal does not require the approval of the European Parliament and the EU states, but he calls for “short-term legally binding steps” and a delegated act that would supplement the currently blocked combustion engine agreement.
The FDP’s approach aims to create a possibility for a new vehicle category for e-fuels within the existing Euro 6 emissions standard. A delegated act would allow these “e-fuels only” vehicles to be offset against the fleet limit values, which specify how many greenhouse gases newly-built cars are allowed to emit during operation. The value is intended to drop to zero in 2035, which effectively ends new combustion engines. However, exceptions may be made for special vehicles such as emergency vehicles or wheelchair-accessible cars. A legal framework for balance sheet CO₂-neutral fuels should also be created in the proposal.
The current phase-out of combustion engines comes into effect in 2035. However, a confirmation by EU states was canceled due to additional demands from Germany. The FDP’s proposal aims to find a compromise that would not require changes to the existing decision. The FDP can rely on the approval of the population, with two-thirds of Germans (67 percent) against the Europe-wide end for new vehicles with combustion engines from 2035. The EU project only has a majority among supporters of the Greens.
The proposed compromise by the FDP aims to find a middle ground between the existing decision to phase out combustion engines and the concerns of the public. With the EU Commission’s adoption of a legal act, this proposal could go into effect without requiring the approval of the European Parliament and the EU states.