Aviation insists on right of way when using e-fuel
Berlin Aviation is pushing for preferential treatment over the automotive industry when it comes to using climate-friendly fuel. The Federal Association of the German Aerospace Industry (BDLI) said on Thursday that any initiative to increase the production of synthetic fuel should be welcomed.
“As anchored in the coalition agreement, it is essential to give priority to those sectors that have no alternative to liquid hydrocarbons. This includes our industry,” added BDLI boss Volker Thum. The background is the struggle in the European Union (EU), fueled by the federal government, about whether fuels from renewable energy sources (e-fuels) should also be allowed in cars.
Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) does not want to agree to the almost sealed end of combustion engines in Europe in 2035 without a firm commitment from the EU Commission. Italy and Eastern European EU countries also want to block the law that stipulates zero CO2 emissions for new cars from 2035, thus forcing a switch to battery-powered drives. It could therefore not find the required majority shortly before the final decision of the member states.
The auto industry supports Wissing’s initiative. The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) confirmed that e-fuels make a contribution to climate protection if they can be refueled by existing vehicles. The EU Commission must now regulate this in concrete terms instead of just considering it, as agreed in a clause. However, the industry does not want to slow down when battery electric cars are ramped up.
Of the German car manufacturers, BMW and Volkswagen are “additionally” using e-fuels for their existing fleets. The VW sports car subsidiary Porsche already produces its own synthetic fuel in a pilot plant in Chile, which can be used in cars, ships or airplanes.
All BMW engines have already been approved for higher proportions of regenerative fuel, the Munich-based carmaker explained. Mercedes-Benz also sees e-fuels as an option for the combustion cars that will still be available in the next decade, but adds: “For reasons of energy efficiency, it is still best to charge green electricity directly into the battery.” In the manufacture of e-fuels decrease the energy efficiency.