Hold My Beer! Germany Wants eFuel Cars to Survive the EU 2035 Fossil Fuel Ban?

Automologist MAC welcomes the news… 

What witchcraft is this or have I fallen down a wormhole into a parallel universe? Following the EU-wide approval to ban the sale of fossil-fuelled cars in their entirety from 2035, Germany is now disrupting the final vote, which formally adopts the legislation, in an attempt to get internal-combustion-powered (aka ICE vehicles) cars to be exempted from the ban.

Volker Wissing, Germany’s Transport Minister, tweeted: “The internal combustion engine itself is not the problem, the fossil fuels it runs on are.” And he does have a point there. Not only has Germany invested heavily in the development of eFuels, the country is also the largest producer of cars in an industry that employs about 820,000 workers, both of which will create some pressure, me thinks.

According to reports, the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has been lobbying Ursula von der Leyen, the EU President, to get a clarification on the almost ratified legislation. Apparently, Ms Leyen seems to think that there is common ground that could be worked out. Meaning the internal combustion engine will indeed be available for sale after 2035 if it is designed for eFuel.

Not everyone is happy about this turn of events and the hemp-trouser-wearing members of Germany’s Green Party beg to differ. Michael Bloss, who is the Green Party MEP for Germany, believes that eFuels are inefficient, expensive and, in his view, not alternative. According to him, a wind turbine can supply up to 1,600 cars with energy—not sure where he got those statistics, but he may need to be reminded that the wind does not always blow.

All European nations must be looking at the 2035 date with at least a little trepidation. For all cars to become electric there is a need to invest heavily in infrastructure projects to increase electric-generating capacity, not to mention the charging stations. As we have seen after Putin’s summer tour of the Ukraine, Germany has had to switch back to a bunch of coal-fired power plants to meet current demand and thus, it is fair to say that current German EV drivers are really powered by coal, not electric.

Currently, it is known that Poland, Bulgaria and Italy do not want the ban. So, with Germany, that would amount to about 42% of the EU population, which is enough to reject the end of combustion engines. Countries like Spain are more than a little upset with this last minute manoeuvring by Germany and think that any last minute changes will disrupt markets and deter investment.

We all need to get serious about global warming, but sorry to say, banning ICE cars in Europe will do little to stop it. The world is driven by a desire for people to get out of poverty and as they do, they consume more and that includes electricity to power air-conditioners and electric cars and so on. Globally, more than a third of electricity comes from coal. So, do EV cars green the world or just move the point of pollution? You know what I think.

For me, I welcome the approach and thus the ability for my children’s children to enjoy the power of a flat-six or V8 well into the future.

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