Auto industry skeptical of 2035 rules for cars – EURACTIV.com
The German government has caused a stir in the auto sector by insisting on a non-binding provision requiring EU executives to assess the choice of synthetic fuels for combustion-engined cars after it moves to sell zero-emission cars in 2035.
An EU regulation on CO2 standards for cars and vans was agreed on Thursday evening (October 27), which plans to effectively ban the sale of new combustion-engined vehicles from 2035, reducing permitted emissions to zero.
However, some provisions in the agreement’s details, such as revising the announced 2026 targets, have caused confusion. But above all, a non-binding recital asking the European Commission to come up with a proposal to allow the sale of fuel-powered vehicles after 2035. they work”only with CO2 neutral fuels » caused discord.
This last provision was originally proposed by the German government.
One of Germany’s ruling parties, the liberal FDP, part of the “Renewable Europe” group in the European Parliament, celebrated the deal, calling it “technological openness “.
“After 2035, combustion engines with climate-unfriendly e-fuels will continue to be allowed. Therefore, a total ban on internal combustion engines from 2035 is not an option.“, the party group in the Bundestag tweeted.
German Transport Minister Volker Wissing, a member of the FDP, told EURACTIV that “The European Commission will present proposals on how internal combustion engine-only e-fuel vehicles can be registered after 2035.“.
Industry representatives do not agree with this.
“The end of the combustion engine should not be excludedVDMA, the German engineering industry association, criticized in a statement, “only non-compulsory recital is now integrated into European regulation“.
“Ultimately, it doesn’t serve the cause“Wrote the association, which preferred the provision to be legally binding.
The Commission itself, which was responsible for issuing the proposal, declined to comment on whether there was another proposal and what it might entail. “We will consider later whether further measures are needed.European Commission spokesman Tim McPhee said at a press conference after a question about the recitation.
“As always, the Commission’s proposals are technologically neutral. But if we look at the direction of the market, we see that for many European manufacturers, significant investments have been made, especially in electric cars.“, he emphasized.
“For this regulatory purpose, we demonstrate that there is a market and encourage new investment in this sector.“, he added.
Recital only ‘tactical compromise»
The VDA, the German automotive industry association, did not comment on the recital in its official reaction to the deal. The association, however, considers synthetic fuels a “is an important complement to the rapid rise of electric mobilitycan be used to decarbonize the existing vehicle fleet.
“The industry does not take this point seriouslyFerdinand Dudenhöffer, director of the Automotive Research Center (CAR) in Duisburg, Germany, informed EURACTIV about this. According to him, reduced emission limits can only be achieved with battery electric vehicles.
“There is no going back. The internal combustion engine is coming to an endhe said, attributing the death to the world’s two biggest markets, China and the US, clearly moving towards battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
For Mr. Dudenhöffer, this recital is only a tactical concession to German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, leader of the FDP, who has made himself a champion of technological openness.
The FDP is also under pressure to become “more visible” in Olaf Scholz’s government coalition with the Social Democrats and the Greens after losing several regional elections, which party leaders attribute to their unfamiliarity with the two left-wing parties.
Industry: framework conditions should be favorable
German car industry criticizes EU institutions “negligentBy agreeing on goals without ensuring that they can actually be achieved.
“The EU should immediately attack according to the framework conditions“, such as energy and raw material supply, insisted VDA President Hildegard Müller.
Rule “sets ambitious goals“he wrote but”without leaving the opportunity to respond to current developments and challenges“.
Similar views were expressed by representatives of car suppliers.
“There are uncertainties, we must admit themBenjamin Krieger, Secretary General of the European Automotive Suppliers Association (CLEPA) wrote.
“Availability of raw materials, affordable means of transportation, tightly connected charging and refueling infrastructure, and sufficient amounts of renewable energyHe added that it is important for all electrification to work.