BFederal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) has spoken out against a ban on the sale of new cars with combustion engines from 2035. When asked in Berlin on Thursday, Wissing said that the EU Parliament’s decision on the combustion engine “we do not agree with. The end means a hard step for the citizens.” 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.”
This is in contrast to what Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) said in Brussels in March. 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. She 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 are allowed to emit.
Lindner: EU resolution contradicts coalition agreement
The EU Parliament wants to ban the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines from 2035. A majority of MEPs voted in Strasbourg on Wednesday that from the middle of the next decade manufacturers will only be allowed to bring cars and vans onto the market that do not emit any greenhouse gases that are harmful to the climate. Before such a regulation can come into force, Parliament still has to negotiate with the EU states.
According to Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP), the federal government must press for changes to the discussed ban on new registrations for petrol and diesel cars from 2035. The decision of the European Parliament contradicts the spirit of the coalition agreement between the SPD, Greens and FDP, said Lindner. “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.
Lindner emphasized that Germany will certainly be the lead market for e-mobility. In many other countries, however, the combustion engine will be used for a long time to come. “In the interest of thousands of jobs, we must not allow ourselves to be decoupled from this,” he warned.
The car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, has generally welcomed the EU Parliament’s decision to phase out combustion engines from 2035. “By 2030, we are ready to go fully electric wherever market conditions allow,” said the head of the group’s external relations department, Eckart von Klaeden, on Thursday in Stuttgart.
“In principle, we welcome the decision,” said von Klaeden. “The decision makes politicians responsible for providing the necessary infrastructure. The decisive factor for the success of climate protection in transport is the acceptance of the new and not the ban on traditional technologies.” The manufacturer offers seven fully electric models, with more to follow.