Berlin wants endothermic electric fuels and hydrogen cars even after 2035
The appeal of the German Secretary of State for the transports, Michael Theurer
(sustainabilityenvironment.com) – An amendment to the ban of endothermic motor cars throughout Europe by 2035. To open a window to electric vehicles, zero emission electric fuels or e-fuels. That’s what Germany is asking in Brussels. “The Commission should present a proposal on how to use electric fuels or how to manage combustion engines powered by climate-neutral fuels,” said German Secretary of State for Transport Michael Theurer on Monday.
Last October, the European Parliament and the Council gave the final impetus to the most profound transformation of the European car industry. According to the EU decision, from 2035 it will no longer be possible to sell diesel and petrol vehicles in Europe, since by that date the reduction in emissions for new private vehicles will have to be 100%. By that date, therefore, the car industry will have completed the transition to electric.
A chance for electric fuels
According to Berlin, focusing only on electric vehicles is reductive. Instead, it should be possible to use hydrogen-powered cars and above all vehicles with modified endothermic engines capable of burning e-fuels. Electric fuels would be likened to climate-neutral fuels because they are produced from green hydrogen (obtained by electrolysis from renewable sources) and captured CO2. According to a study by Transport & Environment, however, in 2035 the amount of e-fuel that can be produced in the EU would be enough for just 2% of the car fleet: 5 million vehicles out of 300 total. That’s why it would be a bad move.
Read also Final agreement in the EU to ban endothermic cars in 2035
Behind the exit of the German government there is, of course, the pressure on national car manufacturers. The sector is crucial for Germany’s economy: it is worth almost 10% of GDP, absorbs 40% of research and development expenditure, and employs about 800,000 workers, almost 2% of the workforce.
The Italian Government is also moving in the same direction. For the owner of MASE Pichetto Fratin, the choice of Brussels was “not rational” while the electric vehicles, would be “a deal for the rich”. And in recent weeks he has also pressed for the stop to petrol and diesel cars to be softened allowing the use of electric fuels, biomethane, hydrogen.