End of thermal cars: the EU complies with Germany’s requirements on synthetic fuels
While Germany has just vetoed the vote to ban thermal cars, the EU has decided to make commitments to bring the country back to the negotiating table.
As you may know, the final vote on the European law banning the sale of thermal cars from 2035 was to take place this week. For the European Commission, it was to be a mere formality after finally reaching an agreement with the 27 in October 2022.
Only, it was without counting Germany who came to play spoilsport. And yes, our neighbors across the Rhine have decided to veto and suspend their participation in the vote. A huge pebble in the shoe of the European Union, which knows full well that the text will not pass without the support of the greatest economic power of the Old Continent.
Germany wants guarantees for synthetic fuels
Before considering a return to the negotiating table, Germany would like the text to include additional measures relating to synthetic fuels. According to German Transport Minister Volker Wissing, the proposal in its current version did not clearly explain the role of e-fuels as alternatives to fossil fuels.
Furthermore, the political leader also demands the establishment of exceptions. In other words, authorize the sale of certain thermal cars that run on synthetic fuels.
The EU takes a first step in favor of Berlin
On Tuesday 14 March 2023, the EU took a first step towards Germany by proposing a revision of the text, in favor of the use of e-fuels. The aim is to clarify their place after the entry into force of the ban on thermal cars in 2035.
Be careful however, it is not known when this revision will be transmitted, or even of what extent it will be. And as much to say that we should not expect a deliberation in the weeks to come, given the time necessary to transmit a revision of the regulations to Brussels.
In other words, the final adoption of the measure could be postponed to 2024, just before the new European elections. Furthermore, it should be noted that the text is not only threatened by these delays. No, the reversal of Berlin brought other member countries to reconsider their position on the matter, such as Poland, Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. What lead to a pure and simple cancellation? It’s a possibility.