Italy urges postponement of e-fuels vote

Italy urges postponement of e-fuels vote

Colosseum in Rome

The Italian government had recently expressed similar reservations about a ban on combustion engines from 2035 as the German one.

(Photo: dpa)

Brussels The Compromise on e-fuels between Germany and the EU Commission cleared the first hurdle. EU ambassadors approved the deal on Monday, officials from the Commission and member states said. This clears the way for the formal Yes in the Council of Energy Ministers on Tuesday.

Italy’s push to postpone the vote failed. Italy had supported Germany in its opposition to the Commission’s previous plans, but also at the same time Special rules are required not only for the operation of combustion cars with so-called e-fuels but also with biofuel.

The compromise with Germany provides for a separate e-fuel type class to be created for cars in the future. Such vehicles, which can only be operated with e-fuels, should still be able to be registered after 2035. A procedure was agreed for this, which is still to be worked out. The EU Commission should determine how e-fuel cars contribute to the climate goals.

This should then be decided via a so-called delegated act. Although this can be blocked by Parliament or the Council of Ministers, this would have to be done with their own majorities. However, there are voices from the EU Parliament that see the legal act as exceeding the competence of the Commission and are considering a lawsuit.

E fuels are produced using large amounts of green electricity, hydrogen and CO2 from the atmosphere. The combustion engines are so climate-neutral, although they emit CO2 at the exhaust. E-fuels are considered inefficient and expensive. So far there is no noteworthy production. These will later be used primarily in shipping and air traffic, which, unlike cars, cannot simply switch to electricity.

More: With the dispute over e-fuels, the EU has opened Pandora’s box

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