Germany has expressed its stance against a proposed European Union (EU) ban on the sale of new vehicles with internal combustion engines beginning in 2035. After failing to obtain an exemption for synthetic fuels, Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer announced that the nation will not support the proposal.
The proposed plan would require manufacturers to reduce emissions from new vehicles by 55% by 2030 and by 100% by 2035. As e-fuels can be produced using renewable energy and carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere, Germany had asked the EU’s executive Commission to create an exemption for e-fuel-burning vehicles. The request was denied by the Commission, so the country has decided to oppose the prohibition.
Critics of the proposed ban contend that battery-electric technology is a better fit for passenger cars, and that synthetic fuels should be used only when no other viable alternative exists. Opponents have also argued that it would be detrimental to Germany’s prestigious automobile industry.
The Commission has stated that it will adhere to its proposed ban on internal combustion engine vehicles despite opposition. Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans stated that the plan is necessary to achieve the EU’s objective of climate neutrality by 2050. He argued that the prohibition is necessary to ensure that future automobiles are powered by clean energy.