Companies and NGOs reject calls for e-fuels loophole in 2035 cars deadline

October 18, 2022

The final law on phasing out combustion engines must not give an exemption to synthetic fuels, the group writes in a letter to EU negotiators.

Today 16 companies and civil society groups are appealing to EU negotiators to finalise the 2035 phase-out of combustion-engine car and van sales – with no loophole for e-fuels.

In response to heightened pressure on EU lawmakers to water-down plans for a full phase-out, this public letter to ambassadors, MEPs, and the Commission says that using e-fuels to decarbonise cars would:

  • Be far less efficient than BEVs
  • Use a lot more scarce clean electricity than direct electrification, diverting it from the rest of the EU economy
  • Put at risk the decarbonisation of sectors where such carbon neutral fuels are, for now, the only option, such as aviation.

The efforts of lawmakers should instead be on rolling out charging and clean electricity supply, re-skilling workers for the electric transition and ensuring responsible sourcing and recycling of materials for batteries, they write.

The letter also reminds legislators that cars and vans are responsible for 15% of all Europe’s CO2 emissions, but also that EVs are a readily available solution for climate emissions and dangerous air pollution. However, Europe needs to accelerate if it wants its carmakers and EV value chains to keep pace with China and the US.

The letter is signed by:

  • Vehicle-makers Volvo Cars and Arrival
  • Charging network and equipment providers AllegoChargePoint, and EVBox
  • The European association for electromobility AVERE
  • The European Copper Institute
  • Utilities Iberdrola and Vattenfall, and industry trade association Eurelectric, which speaks for more than 3,500 companies in power generation, distribution and supply
  • The trade association of the French electricity sector, Union of the French Electricity (UFE)
  • NGOs Transport & EnvironmentECOS and the Polish foundation for the promotion of electric vehicles, FPPE
  • And non-profit Climate Group/EV100, which has a network of over 500 multinational businesses worldwide and helps turn their climate commitments into action.

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