One of our Spotlight speakers is Dr. Mark Misselhorn, CEO of CAPHENIA GmbH, a company founded in 2018. The company yesterday made an urgent appeal to the public because of the vote expected today in the EU Parliament.
The de facto ban on internal combustion vehicles initiated by the European Commission is being eagerly debated in the news and social media channels, having recently cleared its first political hurdle. “We are pleased that the topic is finally coming into focus,” says Dr. Mark Misselhorn, CEO of CAPHENIA GmbH. He describes the fact that politicians are more intensively concerned with the future role of the approximately 1.4 billion vehicles with combustion engines worldwide as overdue.
He also describes it as a pleasing side effect that e-fuels are also increasingly being talked about in the process. “E-fuels are climate-neutral in their overall balance and, because they can easily be used as fuels in internal combustion engines, they offer enormous potential to make a significant contribution to reducing emissions in the near future,” Misselhorn says. “Therefore, e-fuels cannot be rendered obsolete even by an internal combustion phase-out, because plans that “only” affect the EU do not help to get a grip on a global issue,” he adds, given corresponding fears expressed in the debate.
Climate package “Fit for 55” will be decided this week
Car manufacturers are to gradually reduce the CO2 emissions of their fleets, by 100 percent by 2035 – so it provides the climate package “Fit for 55”, which the EU Commission already presented last summer. Just under four weeks ago, the relevant legislative proposal was adopted by the Environment Committee by a wafer-thin majority, demonstrating the uncertainty of politicians on this issue. By contrast, the Transport Committee voted clearly in favor of technology openness and has endorsed the eligibility of e-fuels for the EU Fleet Directive. If the opinion of the Transport Committee prevails, this would in turn send a signal to European automakers to continue to rely on climate-friendly internal combustion engines with e-fuels in addition to electric cars and to roll out this technology worldwide. This would also attract investors who support a global strategy for scaling e-fuels to also provide emerging markets with solutions to live CO2-neutral mobility.
The CAPHENIA CEO adds that e-fuels are just at the beginning of their development and still have some innovations to come. “Also, the first production plants are just emerging, so market availability will increase in the foreseeable future.” CAPHENIA is also starting to build a pilot plant this year (at the Hoechst Industrial Park).