Germany says "no" to the European Commission's proposal to stop sales of new diesel and petrol cars from the middle of the next decade. The country's opinion was expressed through the voice of its Minister of Transport, Volker Wissing, who recently spoke during an informal meeting with ministers from other European countries near Paris.
“We want to allow combustion engines even after 2035,” he said, quoted by our colleagues at Motor1.com Italy. However, there's one very important detail and it's that Germany should allow sales of new combustion cars "only if the cars can be powered exclusively with synthetic fuels."
Synthetic fuels are potentially compatible with traditional vehicles and would allow them to stay on the road in the years to come while still achieving a reduction in emissions. The German minister is therefore sure that there is "a solution to ensure that cars are not refuelled with fuels derived from fossil fuels."
According to Volker Wissing, “we cannot rely only on electric or hydrogen mobility for the future” and “we need to remain technologically neutral.” It should also be considered that, to date, "we do not have enough electric vehicles, so we need to scale their availability."
As a side note, just yesterday, Audi announced its diesel V6 engines can now run on renewable fuels, reducing CO2 emissions by a whopping 70 to 95 percent.
The idea of an "intermediate" solution to achieve complete decarbonisation seems to be echoing the words of Italy's minister of ecological transition, Roberto Cingolani. He recently declared that the future of the car “cannot be just full electric” and that we can instead focus on “a generation of ultra-modern hybrids, even with limited performance” to reduce CO2.
In September last year, Italy announced it is in talks with the European Commission for a potential exemption of the rule for the country's supercar automakers. The proposed 2035 combustion engine ban in Europe is still in the proposal stage, which is subject to a long approval process and acceptance from EU members.