Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) has spoken out against a ban on the sale of new cars with combustion engines from 2035.
Wissing said on Thursday in Berlin at the request of the German Press Agency that the EU Parliament’s decision on the combustion engine “does not meet with our approval. The end means a hard step for the citizens.”
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Many jobs depended on the combustion engine. “We want vehicles with combustion engines to be able to be newly registered after 2035 if they can be proven to be fueled only with e-fuels. Approving climate-neutral vehicles with combustion engines corresponds to the important principle of openness to technology.”
Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) also pushed for changes to the discussed ban on new registrations for petrol and diesel cars from 2035. The decision by the European Parliament contradicts the spirit of the coalition agreement between the SPD, Greens and FDP, Lindner told the German Press Agency.
“We expressly wanted a future option for climate-friendly liquid fuels in new combustion engines.” That is why the entire federal government must now “aim for changes for openness to technology”. Otherwise, Germany’s approval would be inconceivable.
The EU Parliament voted on Wednesday to ban the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines from 2035 in the fight for more climate protection. At the end of the month, the member states want to determine their position on this. After that, both EU institutions would have to find a compromise so that the requirement can come into force.
The demands of the FDP are in contrast to what Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) said in March in Brussels. On behalf of the federal government, she had expressly supported the EU Commission’s climate targets, which were tightened last year. That means ending the use of combustion engines in cars and vans by 2035, she said before a meeting with her EU counterparts.
Lemke also said: “After 2035, combustion engines powered by e-fuels are only an option outside of the CO2 fleet limits.” The fleet limits state how much CO2 the cars and vans newly built by manufacturers may emit.
Companies such as Mercedes or Volkswagen have been preparing for a ban on the combustion engine for some time, but in some cases reserve the right to make final decisions based on specific market developments. Audi, for example, has announced that it will gradually phase out combustion engine production by 2033. Mercedes launched an electric offensive three years ago, and now they no longer want to offer any new models with combustion engines in the EU after 2030.
The ADAC, on the other hand, criticizes that a ban on combustion engines is not the only solution. “The ambitious climate protection goals in traffic cannot be achieved with electromobility alone,” said ADAC Technical President Karsten Schulze to the newspapers of the Funke media group on Thursday. He called for a “perspective for the climate-neutral fueled combustion engine”. The federal government should work for a corresponding compromise at EU level.
Schulze called on the European Council to take a “clear stance in favor of openness to technology and efficient CO2 reduction”. The federal government, as an “important voice in Europe”, should also reconsider its negotiating position in this sense, he demanded.