Oil industry fights preference for electric mobility
Managers of BP, Exxon-Mobil, Shell and Total are opposing the push for electric mobility by Germany’s major car manufacturers, writes Klaus Stratmann in Handelsblatt. While VW, BMW and Daimler are openly demanding tax rebates, buying premiums and state funding to build up e-car charging infrastructure, the oil industry is warning against putting all eggs in one basket. Instead, oil companies want a level playing field that includes favourable conditions for the use of synthetic fuels. Bruno Daude-Lagrave, managing director of Total Germany, told Handelsblatt that even in a very positive scenario, most vehicles on Germany’s road will still have a combustion engine in 2030. CO2-neutral synthetic fuels could help decarbonise this part of the car fleet. They would be produced in power-to-x processes, using renewable electricity to power the creation of synthetic fuels suitable for cars, Stratmann writes. An industry alliance called “Power-to-X-Allianz,” whose members include BP and utility Uniper, are convinced that synthetic fuels would be competitive in the market – if they received the same funding as electric cars.
Germany has a target of reducing emissions from the transport sector by 40 percent by 2030 — but since 1990, greenhouse gases in the sector have only decreased by 0.6 percent. A government commission recently made suggestions on curbing carbon pollution from traffic in Germany but its recommendations wouldn’t deliver sufficient emissions cuts to meet the 2030 goal. Meanwhile German car makers have embraced a shift to electric mobility in the next decade, with VW announcing a plan to launch 70 new electric models by 2028.