Despite the projected elimination of internal combustion engines across the EU by the year 2035, the German government intends to continue its work on the development of synthetic fuels. According to AFP, the government has stated that it will allocate €1.9 billion to promote the implementation of e-fuels and “advanced biofuels” by the year 2026. This information was provided in answer to an inquiry made by the parliamentary group of the opposition CDU/CSU party.
In addition, the European Commission will have to give its blessing before the subsidies can be distributed. According to a story in heise online, the government stated that the utilization of synthetic fuels was “indispensable” in order to meet climate targets in the transportation sector in the previous year. The government has now stated, in its response to the inquiry, that e-fuels and advanced biofuels are among the possibilities that could help to cut emissions in the existing combustion engine automobile fleet. This was one of the options that the government cited.
Last year, the European Union Parliament and its member states came to an agreement over the end of internal combustion engine automobiles. Specifically, they decided that beginning in 2035, only emission-free automobiles will be allowed to be freshly registered. However, there is a possibility that the door will stay open for e-fuels because the commission plans to draft recommendations to enable automobiles that operate on fuels that do not produce carbon dioxide.
The use of synthetic fuels produced with renewable energy in automobiles is met with harsh criticism from environmentalists due to the fact that this method is significantly less energy-efficient than the use of electric vehicles powered by batteries. The German government was encouraged by the Free Democrats (FDP), who are currently in a coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD), and the Green Party. This coalition is responsible for pushing the German government to campaign at the EU level in favor of not excluding e-fuels from the very beginning.