Synthetic Fuels Approved For Sale In Germany
- Written by : Ashton G. Curran
- Date Published : 2023-03-09
- Date Updated : 2023-03-09
- Category / Tag : articles
The question of the future of mobility is a much-discussed topic that should not have gone unnoticed in recent months. Until recently it looked as if the end of the combustion engine and the purely electric future was a foregone conclusion, but now there is cautious hope that synthetic fuels will be allowed to be used after 2035 and then even in newly registered vehicles with combustion engines: Yesterday politicians announced that so-called efuels and synthetic diesel fuels are included in the 10th Federal Emission Control Ordinance, which means that their sale to end customers is also legal, analogous to European law.
Approval has already been granted for synthetic petrol produced by electrolysis (efuels), but the price is still the biggest obstacle here. They are currently only produced in small quantities, so that the price per liter is around €5.00. It can be assumed that the opening of important markets such as Germany will increase production and cause prices to fall.
The situation was different with synthetic, bio-based diesel of the EN15940 standard. Since these fuels did not comply with the current diesel standard EN590, the Federal Ministry for the Environment did not allow their sale, for reasons that were in some cases outlandish, although many EU countries have had excellent experiences with them and have drastically reduced their CO2 balance sheets. Climate protection does not seem to be the mainspring of the blockade attitude in Germany. Now, however, reason and the will of motorists seems to prevail.
Even though the EU Commission decided in mid-February to ban the registration of new combustion engines from 2035, the result was extremely narrow with 61 more votes in favor of the opponents of the ban. In addition, the individual member states have to agree to the decision, for which the representatives of 65% of EU citizens have to vote "yes" to the ban.
Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing, in his efforts to ensure openness to technology, had previously threatened to say "no" to the ban. The fear that Germany will now vote for a ban as the price for the inclusion of fuels in the 10.BImSchV also does not seem to be true - according to the current state of affairs, Germany will abstain.
Italy also announced a few weeks ago that it would not agree to the ban. But since "Yes" votes are decisive for the ban, it could already be enough to form a blocking minority together with Germany's abstention. If other member countries, such as Poland, also vote "No" or abstain, the ban, which has been considered certain up to now, could be off the table. It remains exciting - but we are now more likely to have the combustion engine even after 2035, even in new cars. Let's hope that as a result of this new situation, our favorite manufacturer from Stuttgart will now also commit to a technology-open strategy that has so far only relied on electric vehicles. Maybe that suits him after the latest, disastrous reports about the sale of his EQ models in China, whose manageable buyers in the Middle Kingdom should now be known by name even in Untertürkheim.
The spokesman for individual mobility of the FDP/DVP parliamentary group in the Baden-Württemberg state parliament and clear advocate for alternative fuels, Friedrich Haag, said today about the forthcoming sales release and the future prospects of synthetic fuels: […] “It is very good that pure fuels from residual and waste materials are finally being paved for refueling at public filling stations. Anyone who takes climate protection in the transport sector seriously cannot avoid this form of synthetic fuel. How else should the car fleet become climate-neutral? And it is also about maintaining meaningful perspectives for the future. That is why it is necessary to start e-fuels production on an industrial scale. Through energy partnerships with countries where the wind is blowing and the sun is burning, these fuels can be produced in a competitive and climate-neutral manner.