Our member eFuel Alliance published the following media release. SPIN supports the few that equally effective climate protection technologies must be treated equally.

After a heated debate on the approval of new vehicles with an internal combustion engine powered by eFuels after 2035, the German Federal Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport and the EU Commission have reached an agreement. Key point is a declaration by the EU Commission announcing concrete proposals on how to create a perspective for the approval of new vehicles powered by eFuels after 2035. A practicable methodology is to be developed by autumn 2024.

In order to be able to define vehicles that are exclusively powered by eFuels, the EU Commission wants to present a regulation for the type approval of vehicles in a first step. This should provide clarity as to when an internal combustion vehicle powered by eFuels is considered a zero-emission vehicle. Alongside these efforts, the Commission has announced a delegated act to define how eFuels-only vehicles contribute to CO2 emission reduction targets.

Ralf Diemer, Managing Director of the eFuel Alliance welcomes the compromise: “By consistently and persistently sticking to technology openness, the FDP has opened a door that should make climate- friendly eFuels for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles possible in the long term. Above all, this helps Climate Action and we are pleased about that. The fact that Italy, Poland and other Member States have supported the Federal Government in Brussels also shows that unilateral technology bans are viewed critically not only in Germany but also in other parts.”

At the same time, Diemer warns against rash reports of success: “This is a start that can lead to the desired result for new vehicles. Now the real work begins, namely to pay close attention to what the EU Commission submits in substance and what will actually be in the law. In addition, this regulation concerns new vehicles and does not address the existing fleet. This could be done, for example, through an ambitious renewable energy directive (REDIII). This is currently being negotiated in Brussels and is by no means in the bag yet.”

With the position taken mainly by the FDP in the Federal Government and the ensuing public debate, eFuels have come more into focus as an addition to electrification. “We have always pointed out that internal combustion vehicles powered by eFuels can be just as climate-friendly as an electric car running on green electricity,” Diemer says. “The fact that the EU Commission is now prepared to recognise this starting position in a declaration is in itself an enormous step forward compared to the previous decision. Hopefully, the right decisions will be made on this basis soon in order to create planning and investment security.
The Commission has already announced that it will strive for a swift procedure and work within the legal framework for a successful and acceptable decision-making process for all sides.