In his opposition to a blanket EU-wide ban on the registration of new combustion engines from 2035, Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) is supported by the green-led Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Economic State Secretary Sven Giegold (Greens) said on the sidelines of an EU meeting in Brussels: “We as Germany have always said: We support the end of old, conventional combustion engines, but we want a solution for such ones outside of the fleet limits, i.e. outside of this law Combustion engines that are only operated with sustainable e-fuels.” The EU Commission must now convince all coalition partners that such measures are being taken, Giegold demanded.

FDP against complete off

In an interview with the Funke media group, Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner reiterated the FDP’s no to a complete ban on new combustion vehicles in the EU. “It is our goal that new cars with combustion engines will still be registered in Germany after 2035,” said the FDP leader. “However, these vehicles then have to run on climate-friendly eco-fuel.” Newly registered combustion vehicles would remain an exception after 2035. However, this technology will continue to play a major role worldwide, “the technological know-how must therefore be preserved in an export country like Germany”.

EU: From 2035 only new cars without greenhouse gases

Negotiators from the European Parliament and the EU states had already agreed in October that from 2035 only new cars that do not emit greenhouse gases during operation may be sold in the EU. It is planned that the Council of Member States will finally vote on it next Tuesday. Wissing threatened that Germany would not be able to agree and justified this by saying that the EU Commission had not yet submitted a proposal on how only vehicles fueled with climate-friendly fuels such as e-fuels could be approved after 2035. This was part of the agreement in the Council of EU States in June 2022, with which the FDP could be persuaded to agree within the federal government.

Lindner criticizes: “Unfortunately, the EU Commission has not taken any steps to seriously examine exceptions for combustion engines that run exclusively on eco-fuel in their ban plans.” It is also unlikely “that the Commission will do within the next few days what it has not done for months”.

Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Giegold was more optimistic. He believes that a solution can be found if the EU Commission appears credible to the federal government and the German ministers. Difficult talks were going on at the moment.