06 Jan 2023, 13:15
Sören Amelang

Germany to subsidise development of e-fuels with €1.9 bln package

AFP / heise online

The German government wants to stick to the development of synthetic fuels despite the planned phaseout of combustion engines at EU level by 2035. €1.9 billion have been earmarked to support the rollout of e-fuels and "advanced biofuels" by 2026, the government said in response to an enquiry by the opposition CDU/CSU parliamentary group, reports AFP. It added the subsidies will still have to be approved by the European Commission. The government said last year that the use of synthetic fuels was “indispensable” to reach climate targets in the transport sector, according to a report in heise online. In its response to the enquiry, the government now said that e-fuels and advanced biofuels are among the options that could help to lower emissions in the existing combustion engine car fleet.

The EU Parliament and the member states agreed upon the end of combustion engine cars last year, by agreeing that from 2035, only emissions-free cars can be newly registered. Yet a door might remain open for e-fuels, as the commission intends to draw up proposals to allow cars that run on CO2 neutral fuels. Environmentalists are highly critical of using synthetic fuels made with renewable energy in cars, as this approach is much more energy inefficient than using battery electric vehicles. The Free Democrats (FDP), who are in a coalition with the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Green Party, had pushed the German government to campaign at the EU level for not excluding e-fuels from the outset.

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