The EU Commission approaches the FDP with an e-fuels proposal

The EU Commission approaches the FDP with an e-fuels proposal

Combustion engine cars

The EU Commission’s proposal could solve the combustion dispute.

(Photo: dpa)

Brussels, Berlin The EU Commission is reacting to the demands of Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) to secure the future of internal combustion engines in passenger cars. The authority has sent a regulatory proposal to Berlin, which is available to the Handelsblatt. The Reuters news agency first reported on it.

According to this, it is planned that e-fuel vehicles should be able to recognize technically whether they have been fueled with fossil petrol or diesel or with e-fuels. If the system detects a fossil fuel, it is designed to prevent the car from starting.

From 2035, no new cars with internal combustion engines will be registered in the EU. This is what a law provides for that was finally discussed in the EU bodies and approved at the last moment by Germany was stopped. The FDP only want to agree if a loophole is created for combustion cars that can only be refueled with climate-neutral e-fuels.

It is the first time that the EU Commission has made a concrete proposal on how the complicated requirements of the German federal government should be implemented in European law. The Ministry of Transport had not yet worked out any changes to the law.

The Commission is now proposing to supplement the regulation on type approvals, which are actually intended to meet the Euro 5 and Euro 6 emission standards. With a few small changes, the law would include a definition of “vehicles that run exclusively on CO2-neutral fuels”.

These vehicles should be equipped with a “refueling monitor”. This should recognize what exactly is in the tank. How this device is supposed to work is left up to the manufacturers. But you would have to be able to prove that it works.

Recently, there has been more speculation about another variant, namely narrower e-fuel taps at the gas stations and correspondingly narrower filler necks on the tanks of the new cars. However, such a device could easily be circumvented.

Competition with airplanes, ships and chemical industry

E-fuels are fuels that are produced using electricity. This binds CO2, which is released again when it is burned. If the electricity comes from renewable sources, e-fuels are climate-neutral. However, the EU law in its current version would ban all CO2 emissions when driving a car.

>> Read here: That’s what the e-fuel dispute is about – the most important questions and answers

Climate protectors want to use e-fuels to make air and ship traffic climate-neutral. In chemistry, too, there is a need for replacements for classic oil products.

According to the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), there are currently around 60 announcements for e-fuel projects worldwide, with hardly any investment decisions being made. According to the institute, all of these projects together could cover around ten percent of Germany’s indispensable e-fuel requirements by 2035 – i.e. without cars or trucks being refueled with it.

Minister of State for Europe Anna Lührmann (Greens) said on Tuesday in Brussels that she assumed that talks on the future of combustion engines would be concluded before the meeting of EU heads of state and government on Thursday.

More: Germany is jeopardizing the most important climate protection package in the world

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