The FDP has pushed through e-fuels against great resistance. But a fierce dispute is now raging among manufacturers as to whether alternative fuels are the solution to the industry's problems - or an air number.
Munich - In the EU, new cars with combustion engines may no longer be registered from 2035. The FDP has enforced an exception for e-fuels: If new cars are refueled exclusively with a climate-neutral fuel in the future, registration will still be possible.
But e-fuels are not only a politically polarizing topic. For example, some experts believe that in the case of large production volumes, the production price could be one euro. Others say that e-fuels are uneconomical and that their introduction could cost billions of euros. There is also disagreement among car manufacturers about the future of synthetic fuel.
Stellantis CEO Tavaras on e-fuels: Path towards electric cars will be undermined
In an article by the British car magazine Autocar, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavaras says that he welcomes e-fuel as a way to power non-electric cars, even if the sale of new cars is completely converted to e-cars. However, he stressed that the expansion of e-fuel legislation undermines the path already taken towards battery-powered electric cars.
"I'm ready to go all out with electric vehicles and show the world that I'm the best electric vehicle manufacturer," Tavaras said. Just in case, however, they have ensured that the engines are suitable for e-fuels. He said he had no concerns about Stellantis' ability to survive regardless of regulations. Rather, his concerns concern the impact on society that would result from the back-and-forth on legislation and the instability it would bring to a huge industry with millions of workers.
On the subject of e-fuels, there is disagreement © among the car bosses Tom Weller/dpa
Audi boss Duesmann: E-fuels will be rejected
Audi boss Markus Duesmann is also fully committed to electric drive. In an article in Der Spiegel, he emphasized the need for planning security for the automotive industry and its billion-dollar investments. "Audi has made a clear decision: We will phase out the combustion engine in 2033 because the battery-electric vehicle is the most efficient method for individual mobility."
E-fuels are much more inefficient to produce, making them considerably more expensive. In the long term, they would only be considered for certain forms of mobility such as air traffic or the existing fleet.
Porsche CEO Blume: E-fuels are a useful addition to the vehicle fleet and in the niche
However, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume, who also heads the VW Group, has defended the use of e-fuels. "With regard to combustion vehicles, e-fuels are a useful addition, in the inventory and in the niche." The automotive industry is "in the midst of transformation" and needs planning security. "The aim is for the EU Commission to show a way in which e-fuels can be used in new vehicles with combustion engines - even after 2035," Blume said.
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BMW CEO Zipse: E-fuels make a substantial contribution to the vehicle fleet
BMW is also in favour of the development of synthetic fuels. E-fuels are the only way to "make a substantial contribution" to the vehicle fleet, said BMW CEO Oliver Zipse. He very much agrees with the colleagues who are in favour of this, especially because the BMW engines are prepared for it.