05 Jul 2022, 13:42
Edgar Meza

Majority of Germans against banning combustion engine cars - survey

Clean Energy Wire

A majority of Germans oppose the EU’s planned 2035 ban of combustion engine cars, according to a survey by research institute forsa for UNITI, the German association of small and medium-sized mineral oil companies. The survey found that 58 percent of respondents are against an outright ban, while 39 percent support it. Nearly two-thirds of respondents also reject a medium or long-term general ban on vehicles with diesel or petrol engines. The survey, which also examined attitudes of the population towards synthetic fuels, electromobility and other transport policy issues, likewise found that large parts of the German population associate electric mobility with general economic and personal disadvantages. Nearly three-quarters of respondents fear that Germany will become dependent on raw material imports from China for the construction of e-cars. A ban on combustion engines will lead to a loss of jobs in Germany’s automotive industry, according to 53 percent of those surveyed, while 54 percent are concerned that electromobility will not be affordable given rising electricity prices.

Support for government e-car subsidies is shrinking significantly: only 51 percent favor the billions of euros in annual funding for e-mobility, down from 58 percent a year ago. At the same time, however, a clear majority is open to new technologies and has a positive attitude towards CO₂-neutral fuels, the oil industry-commissioned survey found. “The federal government should support all technical solutions for achieving the climate goals in road traffic in the same way and not only promote electromobility,” say 89 percent of respondents. Some 78 percent of respondents with combustion engine or hybrid drive cars say they could imagine using synthetic fuels. Given the choice between a combustion engine car that uses climate-friendly synthetic fuel or an electric vehicle, 58 percent would choose the former while only 30 percent of respondents prefer the latter. UNITI is calling for greater support for e-fuels from German and EU leaders.

EU member states in late June approved the end of fossil fuelled passenger cars in 2035. Germany complicated matters by introducing the option that e-fuel driven cars should be considered possible in the climate-neutral 2035 car fleet. As a compromise, the 2035 combustion engine ban was kept – and agreed to by the EU Council – but the ministers asked the European Commission to assess in 2026 whether CO2-neutral fuels could also comply with EU law.

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