Gasoline and diesel soon history – politics
In the dispute between Berlin and Brussels about the planned end for new cars combustion engine From 2035 onwards a solution is on the horizon. Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) has moved away from his hard line of subsequently changing the already agreed emissions law. This plan triggered a storm of protests from the EU Commission, European neighbors and the Green coalition partner in Berlin. Wissing is now ready to agree to the end of fossil fuel burners if the Commission assures in a statement that burners operated with climate-neutral e-fuels will also be permitted after the phase-out date.
It is therefore likely that the Commission, with Germany’s approval, will be able to seal the far-reaching end of combustion engines in Europe in the coming days. This was preceded by an exchange of letters between Berlin and Brussels. On Thursday evening, the Ministry of Transport sent the decisive compromise proposal to Brussels, and according to insiders, the EU Commission had largely responded to it. Ministry lawyers are still checking the offer from Brussels, it said on Friday. “We will come to an agreement, and quite quickly,” said Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on Friday after the end of the EU summit in Brussels. “It looks very good,” said Wissing in the afternoon. Only the last technical questions have to be clarified.
The German transport minister had previously split the whole of Europe with his blockade attitude. under his leadership A group of member countries wanted to subsequently enforce an exemption for e-fuels in the legal text, although the governments had already agreed on a different position last year. The new limit values stipulate that from 2035 onwards, passenger cars and light commercial vehicles may only be registered if they no longer emit carbon dioxide. A solution for e-fuels should only be found after the decision on this de facto end for the combustion engine. At the urging of the FDP, Germany pushed through a corresponding – albeit not legally binding – passage in the law during the negotiations last year.
In Brussels, Wissing’s subsequent attempt at correction was a dam bursting in EU legislation criticized been. With the new compromise proposal, he is off the table. The Brussels Commission should only make a declaration that it is committed to e-fuels and openness to technology and that it will legally regulate an exception for vehicles that run exclusively on climate-neutral synthetic fuels by autumn. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen or her Vice Frans Timmermans could also pledge by signature that they would stick to e-fuel exemptions even if there was resistance from the EU Parliament.
In Wissing’s environment, they want to see the change in strategy as a success
According to the Federal Ministry of Transport, the Brussels authority is to present a so-called delegated act after the summer break, which will make it possible to register climate-neutral combustion cars beyond 2035. The Commission can enact such legal acts without the lengthy EU compromise process if a law provides for the possibility to do so. However, both Parliament and the Council of Ministers could lodge an objection within three months, and resistance to the combustion engine rescue has long since formed in Parliament. “A delegated act has no legal basis,” says Green MEP Michael Bloss. “Should the EU Commission choose a path that is not compatible with the legal system, we will oppose it.”
In circles at the Ministry of Transport, Wissing’s change in strategy and the probable result were seen as a success in their own right. But with coalition partners of the FDP in Berlin and also in Brussels rather than giving in. Exceptions for e-fuel engines from the combustion engine off are by no means certain.
VW and Porsche boss Oliver Blume is one of those people in the auto industry who support these exceptions. In an interview with the SZ, Blume is in favor of e-mobility, but at the same time against a definitive end for the combustion engine. In the discussion, he would like “fewer emotions and more facts,” says Blume. He gives the combustion engine a future, especially in special vehicles for fire brigades and rescue services as well as for small series and smaller manufacturers. “At Porsche, we’re thinking of special series 911s – our icon may only have a 0.05 percent market share, but it’s extremely popular with fans and customers worldwide.”