Germany, along with Italy and some Eastern European nations, has created an alliance to oppose the EU’s plan to phase out internal combustion engines from 2035, and they aim to present their own proposal, as reported by Reuters on March 13. On Monday, transport ministers from Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia met to discuss potential changes to the EU’s plans. German transport minister Volker Wissing expressed the urgent need for modifications to the proposal, and emphasized that Italy, Poland, and the Czech Republic shared Germany’s skepticism about phasing out internal combustion vehicles. The group of countries wishes to create a separate category of combustion-engine cars that could run on synthetic, carbon-neutral fuels after 2035, instead of completely banning them.
The EU’s primary tool for accelerating Europe’s transition to electric vehicles, the CO2 law, was recently put on hold after Germany’s last-minute opposition, surprising policymakers in Brussels and other member states since a deal on the law had already been agreed upon by EU countries and the European Parliament last year. If passed, The CO2 law will prohibit the sale of new cars with petrol, diesel, or hybrid engines in the EU by 2035, following years of discussions and negotiations.