Automotive industry skeptical of post-2035 rules for cars

The German government has created a stir in the automotive sector by insisting on a non-binding provision that asks the EU executive to assess the option of synthetic fuels for combustion engine vehicles after the 2035 shift to zero-emission vehicle sales.카지노사이트

Thursday evening (27 October) saw an agreement on the EU’s CO2 standards for cars and vans regulation, which includes a de-facto ban on the sale of new combustion engine vehicles as of 2035 by reducing allowed emissions to zero.

However, some of the provisions in the details of the agreement brought confusion: the stated review of the targets in 2026, alongside a non-binding recital asking the European Commission to make a proposal allowing combustion-engine vehicles to be sold after 2035 if they run “exclusively on CO2-neutral fuels”.

The latter provision was initially proposed by the German government.

One of Germany’s governing parties, the liberal FDP, which is part of the Renew Europe group in the European Parliament, celebrated the deal as “technology open”.

“Combustion engines with climate-neutral e-fuels will continue to be permitted after 2035. A blanket ban on internal combustion engines from 2035 is therefore off the table,” the party’s group in the Bundestag tweeted.

German transport minister Volker Wissing, who is a member of the FDP, told EURACTIV that “the EU Commission will present proposals on how vehicles with internal combustion engines that are only fuelled by e-fuels can still be registered after 2035.”

However, industry representatives disagree.

“The end of the combustion engine is not off the table,” VDMA, Germany’s association for the mechanical engineering industry, wrote in a statement, criticising that “only a non-binding recital has now been integrated into the EU regulation.”

“In the end, this does not help the cause,” the association wrote, which would have preferred for the clause to be made legally binding instead.

The Commission itself, which is asked to make the proposal, refused to be drawn on whether it will make another proposal and what it might entail. “There will be further reflection in the future on if there are additional measures needed,” Tim McPhie, spokesperson of the European Commission, said in a press briefing after being asked about the recital.

“As always, the Commission’s proposals are technology neutral. But if you look at the direction the market is taking, you see significant investments in electric vehicles particularly, for many manufacturers in Europe,” he stressed.

“With this regulatory target, we show that the market is there, and we encourage further investments in this sector,” he added.

Recital just a ‘tactical concession’, expert says
Germany’s automotive industry association, VDA, did not comment on the recital in their official reaction to the agreement. However, the association pointed to synthetic fuels as an “important complement to the rapid ramp-up of electric mobility”, which can be used to decarbonise the existing car fleet.바카라사이트

“The industry side is not taking this clause seriously,” Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, director of the Centre for Automotive Research (CAR) in Duisburg, Germany, told EURACTIV. In his view, the reduced emission limits are only reachable with battery-electric vehicles.

“There is no turning back. The internal combustion engine is reaching its end,” he said, attributing the demise to the fact that the world’s biggest and second-biggest markets, China and the US, are both clearly going in the direction of battery electric vehicles (BEVs).

For Dudenhöffer, the recital is just a tactical concession to the FDP’s chief, German finance minister Christian Lindner, who had been vocally promoting technology openness.

The FDP is also under pressure to become “more visible” in the governing coalition with Olaf Scholz’s social democrats and the Green party after losing multiple regional elections, which party leaders have ascribed to the party’s membership in the unusual “traffic light” coalition with two left-leaning parties.

Industry: Framework conditions must be right
The German car industry criticised EU institutions for being “careless” in agreeing on targets without ensuring that these can actually be fulfilled.

“The EU must now immediately go on the offensive with regard to the framework conditions,” such as the supply of energy and raw materials, VDA’s president Hildegard Müller urged.

The regulation “sets ambitious targets”, she wrote, but “without leaving opportunities to respond to current development and challenges.”

Similar points were made by representatives of automotive suppliers.

“There are uncertainties, which we need to acknowledge,” Benjamin Krieger, secretary general of the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA), wrote.

“Availability of raw materials, affordable vehicles, tightly-knit charging and refuelling infrastructure and sufficient renewable energy” all are important for electrification to work, he added.온라인카지노

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