Germany and six allies are fighting against the 2035 mandate to effectively ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in Europe, pushing for synthetic fuels to be allowed as a viable alternative.
The German government has formed an alliance with six countries to push back on the European Union’s proposed effective ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035, centring its case around synthetic fuels, according to overseas reports.
Last month, European Parliament members approved a proposal which would effectively bring an end to the sale of new petrol and diesel cars – also referred to as internal-combustion engine (or ICE) vehicles – from 2035.
While a vote by the European Union to enact the laws is considered a formality in proceedings, the process was delayed last week after the German government entered talks with the EU over the allowance of synthetic fuels, which would mean new cars powered by petrol or diesel could continue to be manufactured and sold after 2035.
According to news agency Reuters, the Czech Republic, Italy, Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia support Germany’s proposed concession to allow synthetic fuels to keep combustion engines alive.
“The (EU) proposal needs changes urgently,” German transport minister Volker Wissing told news agency Reuters. “A ban on the combustion engine, when it can run in a climate-neutral way, seems a wrong approach for us.”
As previously reported, German car-maker Porsche has been at the forefront of synthetic petrol development – where carbon is captured from the atmosphere and recycled into fuel – having spent more than $US100 million ($AU144 million) on biofuels since 2020.
German car giant BMW (and its sister brand Mini) and Italian marque Lamborghini have also been investing in separate synthetic fuel projects, while Ferrari has reportedly also been pushing for the adoption of synthetic fuels as a carbon-neutral alternative.
When the proposal was passed by the European Parliament in February, low-volume car-makers were granted an extra year to meet the new emissions rules – allowing manufacturers which produce fewer than 10,000 vehicles per year until 2036 to comply with the regulations.
As reported last week, the German Government has also expressed concerns over the proposed ‘Euro 7’ laws, which would require a significant reduction in tailpipe emissions by 2025.
These regulations have been signalled by many manufacturers as making it no longer feasible to produce small and affordable petrol-powered city cars from the middle of the decade.