combustion engine

What seemed like a done deal with regards to banning polluting combustion engines by 2035 across the EU and transitioning to electric vehicles, is now more uncertain than ever following Germany’s unprecedented decision to back down from a preliminary deal.

The EU Commission, Parliament and Council of Ministers had reached a preliminary deal in 2022 which would force carmakers to reduce new car emissions by 55 per cent in 2030 relative to 2021, and by 100 per cent in 2035.

This meant that the sale of new cars which burn fossil fuels would have to be banned.

Germany, among other countries which have a sizeable automobile manufacturing industry, were calling for exceptions for cars which were capable of using e-fuels/synth fuels that could be produced through the use of renewable energy and carbon capture technologies.

However, the EU Commission did not make a proposal on this regard, which led to Germany withdrawing its support from the ban.

“The EU Commission should propose regulation that allows combustion engines to be registered after 2035, if they can verifiably only be fuelled with synthetic fuels,” the German Transport Minister had told reporters in February 2023.

Other countries opposing the blanket ban and calling for an exception for e-fuels include Austria, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.

However, other EU countries, namely France, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland and the Netherlands are firmly against re-opening talks on the subject, according to Politico.

The main point of contention is that it would undermine Europe’s claim of being a global leader in the fight against climate change, slow down the transition to electric vehicle and weaken the EU’s efforts in building a domestic battery production industry.

Unless a compromise is found or one side backs down this debate risks creation further friction within continental Europe.


Brussels protest/ Alessandro Ford

Farmers protest in Brussels goes haywire next to EU Agriculture Ministers’ meeting

February 26, 2024
by Anthea Cachia

While farmers set tires on fire, local law enforcement surrounded EU headquarters in barbed wire and concrete barriers

The Body Shop’s fair-trade suppliers might be left in limbo after collapse of UK company

February 19, 2024
by Anthea Cachia

The company is known of its standards of ethical, fair trade and cruelty free products

Ever wonder how many videos are on YouTube? Researchers reveal it’s a whopping 14 billion

February 10, 2024
by Robert Fenech

The way YouTube is used makes it most aptly described as infrastructure, say researchers