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German and Italy kick back against complete ban of Internal Combustion Engine vehicles

Less than a week before the EU vote to force European car manufacturers to cut their cars’ carbon emissions by 55 per cent by 2030, the German Transport Minister Volker Wissing has thrown a spanner the works. He has announced that Germany will abstain unless explicit provision is made that will allow Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles to be registered after that date if they run exclusively on synthetic fuels produced using green electricity.

Wissing said: ‘Against the background of the enormous existing fleet of passenger cars that we have in Germany alone, for the FDP ( Free Democratic Party) there can only be a compromise on fleet limits if the use of e-fuels is also made possible.’

No sooner were the words out of  Wissing’s mouth than Italy, another car manufacturing behemoth, voiced their support, an alliance of sufficient size to scupper the vote.

There is however, nothing in the proposed legislation that refers to ICE, it simply references emissions targets, indeed Porsche began synthetic fuel production late last year, which is just one avenue for automakers looking outside of battery-electric vehicles.

While only last year, over in Italy, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann told Tech Crunch: ‘It’s a bit difficult, because the European Parliament decided earlier in the year that they will ban gas engines and diesel engines by 2035, and the smaller manufacturers like Lamborghini by 2036, so we don’t need to decide now. We still have the opportunity maybe to go into synthetic fuel with those types of cars.’

The campaign Group Transport & Environment said: ‘Wissing’s threat to overturn the internal combustion engine phase-out at the last second shows that the FDP is prepared to endanger Germany as an automotive location for party-political motives,’

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