In the dispute over the end of new cars with internal combustion engines planned in the EU from 2035, Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) emphasized the advantages of synthetic fuels (e-fuels). "We need e-fuels, because there is no alternative to operating our existing fleet in a climate-neutral manner," he said on Wednesday in the ARD "Morgenmagazin". Anyone who is serious about climate-neutral mobility must keep all technological options open. This also included combustion engines that fill up with e-fuels.
"If we need large quantities of e-fuels to keep the existing fleet climate-neutral, then everything indicates that we will also allow combustion engines beyond 2035 if they are operated exclusively with synthetic fuels," said Wissing.
The FDP politician threatened on Tuesday not to approve the planned end to the registration of new cars with combustion engines in the EU. The EU Commission must deliver and keep promises. Combustion engines will be approved after 2035 if they can be shown to be fueled with synthetic fuels. The Brussels authority should make a corresponding regulation proposal - otherwise Germany will not agree.
"Pure wishful thinking from burner fetishists"
The Greens then reported criticism. Bremen's Mobility Senator Maike Schaefer told the German Press Agency that the car lobby was driving Wissing and the FDP. There is a compromise paper from the federal government with a test order for e-fuels. Wissing has no mandate to announce that Germany could not agree to a combustion engine exit.
"The debate about the use of e-fuels in cars is pure wishful thinking on the part of fans of combustion engines, given the energy intensity involved in their production, despite all their belief in technology," says Schaefer. "The fact that the FDP is targeting this group of voters shows that the fight against the climate crisis is less and less important to them in view of the dwindling votes."
The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), on the other hand, backed Wissing. "We need all climate-friendly technologies to achieve the EU climate targets," said VDA boss Hildegard Müller. Because e-fuels are particularly important for the climate balance of combustion engines that have already been approved, the debate must be conducted again. Now it is the Commission's turn.