Almost at the last minute, and when a vote considered ‘procedure’, but key, was hardly needed, Germany objected to the European Union’s decision to ban combustion engines from the year 2035.

The emergency brake activated at the last minute delayed that decision, since the German Government, supported in the attempt by Italy, Poland, and Hungary, seeks the European Union to guarantee that it will introduce some type of provision in the agreement on how the electronic fuels or synthetics (e-Fuel) in vehicles with combustion engines after 2035.

The ‘death’ of the combustion engine in Europe began to take shape in October 2022 when, after a year of negotiations, Member States, the European Commission and the European Parliament reached an agreement to ban gasoline and diesel engines.

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In November of that year, representatives of the 27 countries sealed the agreement and, last February, it obtained the approval of the European Parliament. All that remained was for the 27 ambassadors to vote on it on Tuesday, March 7, but the German Transport Minister, Volker Wissing, said that his country would not give its final approval.

Without the ratification of all the countries and given the threat of blocking the Agreement, decide to postpone the vote. This is part of the «Fit for 55» package, for more composed of 11 legislative texts with measures to achieve the objective of the European Union (EU), which sets 55 percent emissions reduction by 2030.

In February it had the approval of the European Parliament.


Stephanie Lecoq. EFE

For now there is no date for the vote, they are in talks, but the ratification of the agreement is in the air and although some countries have insisted on Germany maintaining the ban, it is still pending.

do powerful automobile industry has a significant impact on the economy. For this and other reasons, insist that you cannot approve the plan unless the European Commission makes a concession for e-Fuel.

He e-Fuel or synthetic fuel is a liquid fuel, similar to the gasoline we know. The big difference is that it is not extracted from fossil energy sources, but from a chemical process based on hydrogen and the energy used for its manufacture is renewable. It is a one hundred percent clean fuel and in which several German brands are already working on its production.

The key to understanding the German position is e-Fuel. At the end of last year, one month after the Agreement was reached, the European Council asked the European Commission an exception to the new rule: being able to continue manufacturing cars with combustion engines as long as they run on this type of fuel.

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This elimination was not accepted, but a few days ago Germany again requested its inclusion, supported by Italy, which is asking for more time to carry out the necessary transformation of the industry towards electric vehicles in order to minimize the impact it will have on the hands of construction site.

Concern about the problems that the transition to electric vehicles will generate was evident after the Ford announced that it will cut some 3,800 jobs across Europewith workers in Germany and the United Kingdom being the most affected.

For this reason, synthetic fuels are born as a real alternative to the problems of limitation in the autonomy of current batteries given their higher energy density. The Germans argue that if a process is found to allow them to be developed without high costs, combustion engines could become completely carbon neutral.

Ford announced that it will cut some 3,800 jobs.

According to data from the German brand Bosch, the net result of the ban could be a reduction of 2.8 gigatons of CO2 in Europe in 2050, a figure that represents three times the emissions of Germany in 2016, with the great advantage that e-Fuels can be used in multiple applications, not only for cars.

Another argument of those who oppose a total ban on combustion engines is that cars account for only a small proportion of CO2 emissions. Although all vehicles would be electric, planes, boats or trucks would continue to use gasoline or ACPM.

While the executive branch of the European bloc is obliged to submit a proposal after consulting with the requested parties, there is no set date or timetable for a decision, leaving only one option included in the deal, which is a general review of achievements. and objectives in 2026.

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