ICE Technology in Europe Rescued by Germany

Germany looks to have won its battle to save ICE technology from being banned in Europe following a deal with European Union regulators.

Reuters reports that the EU has agreed a deal that will allow the future use of combustion engines resulting in a huge sigh of relief for many automakers staring at the potential of new vehicle sales falling off a cliff if ICE had been banned by the EU’s proposed legislation for 2035. Conversely, a prominent environmental group has attacked the move despite many industry experts’ advice that greenhouse gases can be lowered quicker using ICE technology than with a mass transition to BEVs.

The deal would allow the sales of new vehicles powered by ICE technology if they use carbon-neutral fuels, such as e-fuels or even hydrogen, indefinitely. It remains to be seen if the UK, which had agreed an earlier ICE ban deadline of 2030, now sees sense and falls in line with the EU’s position. The plan to phase out new vehicles using non-carbon neutral fuels is likely to be finalized today, said official from Sweden, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency.

Frans Timmermans, head of EU climate policy, said on Twitter: “We have found an agreement with Germany on the future use of e-fuels in cars.” German Transport Minister Volker Wissing said “the way is clear” with the agreement. “Vehicles with internal combustion engines can still be newly registered after 2035 if they fill up exclusively with CO2-neutral fuels,” he said in a post on Twitter. However, Benjamin Stephan of the Greenpeace campaign group said the deal was a setback for climate protection.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

One comment

  1. Avatar Ron Holt 27th March 2023 @ 9:50 pm

    Common sense has prevailed at last. Let’s hope the UK follows the same path.

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