How does Germany want to save the internal combustion engine?

The combustion engine is not dead. At least, that’s the goal of the German government considering the final vote by the member states on the new EU law that will end the production of diesel and petrol cars by 2035. The European Commission will allow the sale in Europe of vehicles that retain the conventional engine but use fuel with zero CO2 emissions.

Germany’s initiative came at a meeting of EU transport ministers: “The commission should present a proposal on how to use e-fuels or organize internal combustion engines running on climate-neutral fuels,” said Michael Theurer, Germany’s Minister of State for Transport. Unlike Italy, which is roaring against the green light to stop petrol and diesel with the voice of league leader Matteo Salvini (even if the government has given an initial approval to the text), Berlin is taking an alternative route. Wall between Brussels and the wall: while battery-powered electric vehicles are the “way to go”, Germany wants more assurances on the possibility of developing alternatives that focus on CO2-free technologies while protecting the combustion engine supply chain.

This alternative route is through e-fuels (e.g. synthetic fuels produced from renewable sources, a technology Porsche has invested in) as well as biofuels and hydrogen. The possibility of developing these fuels is foreseen by the new EU legislation: by 2026, the European Commission will have to submit a report on the progress in the development of the electric motor in Europe. In the event of critical economic and social problems, even the banning of diesel and gasoline engines could be delayed until after 2035, at least on paper. The most likely hypothesis at the moment is that Brussels opens the door to CO2-neutral fuels.

Adina Valean, European Commissioner for Transport, said that many in the transport sector shared their concerns about Germany’s rapid transition to electrification: “Even if the vote was taken, I think the debate is not closed.” European industry ministers. But the problem is that to make various e-fuels or biofuels competitive requires investment in research and development, which risks being limited in this uncertain future of the automobile. That is why Berlin, with Italy’s support, is pressing for the Commission to clarify as soon as possible, even before the legislative revision expected within three years.

Source: Today IT