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Germany Says No to 2035 New ICE Ban
Finance Minister Christian Lindner of Germany says he sees a role for vehicles with internal combustion engines well past 2035. © Anirut Thailand

Germany Says No to 2035 New ICE Ban

By Simon Johns - Jun 23, 2022

Europe’s largest car making nation Germany will not back the European Union’s ban on all new internal combustion engine vehicles from 2035.

Germany’s car industry includes giants such as Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes, produces 3.5 million passenger cars and commercial vehicles per year. Before the pandemic, generated revenue of about €400 million in 2021. 

At a business association event, Finance Minister Christian Lindner said the need for ICEs engines and that the German government believes it to be wrong.  

While not an explicit ban on ICE vehicles, the European Commission proposed a 100% reduction in new fleet-wide carbon dioxide emissions from 1990 levels by 2035. The only feasible way carmakers can achieve this is for them to only produce battery electric cars.

“That’s absolutely no surprise, as it is exactly the statement that is written in the coalition contract,” Sebastian Doerr, managing director of Lubtrading and transport consultant, told Electric Vehicles InSite. “Combustion engines with the neutral fuels e-fuels are ok.”

E-fuels are made by splitting water molecules and combining the hydrogen with carbon dioxide. Transport & Environment, an umbrella group for European sustainable transport, states that a car burning e-fuels produces as much pollution as a car using conventional fuels.

Earlier in the month, Members of the European Parliament shot down an amendment to Regulation (EU) 2019/631. The regulation sets fleet-wide CO2 emission standards for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles registered in the EU 27.

Proposed by the European People’s Party, the amendment sought to allow 10% of new vehicles sales to be ICEs. German MEPs are the second-largest national group in the EPP after Italy, which also has a large automotive industry.