Plan exists to create a new vehicle category for cars that run only on carbon-neutral synthetic fuels, reports Reuters
Manufacturers may be able to sell new ICE cars in the European Union past the 2035 ban date if they run on e-fuels, according to leaked documents acquired by Reuters.
The draft plan allegedly brings forward the idea of creating a new vehicle category for cars that only run on these environmentally friendly synthetic fuels.
E-fuels – a type of synthetic fuel made from captured CO2 and hydrogen in a complex process using carbon-neutral electricity – are considered a more sustainable source of energy than the petrol and diesel we use today.
The proposal also includes a new technology called a “fuel inducement system” that would stop vehicles from driving if they’re filled up with synthetic fuels.
The decision to ban the sale of new ICE cars and light commercial vehicles in the EU was formally agreed upon in February this year when members of the European Parliament voted to introduce a cut-off date of 2035.
The law will require manufacturers to hit a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions from new vehicles sold in the EU. Niche firms that produce fewer than 1000 new vehicles annually will be exempt.
The leaked documents surfaced shortly after Germany requested that the EU allow the sales of ICE vehicles powered by e-fuels after 2035.
German transport secretary Michael Theurer urged other EU ministers to rethink e-fuels and whether they could be used effectively to reduce transport emissions.
Reuters said the European Commission didn’t comment on the leaked documents but told it that “any proposal on registering e-fuel cars would only be made after the combustion-engine phase-out law was finally adopted”.
Volkswagen boss Thomas Schäfer last week described the disagreements between Germany and the EU as “unnecessary noise” that was “distracting from the point” of the shift to EVs.
This is despite the fact that the Volkswagen Group has heavily invested in e-fuels through Porsche and CEO Oliver Blume is a major advocate, believing it will help with vehicle decarbonisation.