“Check carefully” – combustion engine off: Von der Leyen rows back

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has stressed that the decision taken at EU level to phase out combustion engines by 2026 will be reviewed. It is “very important” that a review takes place in 2026, the CDU politician said in Brussels on Wednesday. “I think what is often forgotten is that an inventory and evaluation will take place in 2026.”

This is to ensure there is openness to technologies and choice for consumers. The industry must also be able to choose where it wants to invest and what it sees as the mobility of the future.

The EU had agreed to phase out combustion engines from 2035
In 2022, the EU agreed that from 2035 no new cars running on petrol or diesel may be registered. The agreement already stated that a review would take place in 2026.

The dilemma with e-fuels
In Austria, the turquoise half of the coalition, in the person of Chancellor Karl Nehammer, campaigned against the final end of internal combustion engines. At the time, Nehammer pushed for the use of e-fuels as an alternative, making headlines given the questionable feasibility of this idea.

But the chairman of the Christian Democratic EPP group in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, also wants to reverse the end of combustion engines by 2035. “If my group can create a majority after the European elections, we will overturn the ban on combustion engines adopted by the European Parliament during this legislative period,” the CSU politician told the Bavarian media group in December.

Technology not yet fully developed
Vehicles with combustion engines can now in principle be re-registered after 2035 if they only use CO2-neutral fuels. However, e-fuels have hardly been produced so far and are considered scarce, expensive and inefficient. Therefore, according to the wishes of the European Commission, they should currently be reserved mainly for shipping or air traffic that cannot be directly powered by electricity.

According to a study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the expected production volume in 2035 is not sufficient to meet demand in these areas alone. There would be nothing left for cars anyway, even if all the hoped-for production capacity were exhausted.

Source: Krone

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