Vehicles | March 26, 2023 8:44 pm

The Future of Internal Combustion Engines in Europe Just Took a Turn

The ban on new internal combustion engines just got a big exception

A French farmer refuels a van powered by biomethane at a filling station on the farm of the Guerin family.

The year 2035 was set to be a big one for electric vehicles. Why? Because based on guidelines under consideration by the European Union, that was when an E.U.-wide ban on new internal combustion vehicles was set to go into place. Earlier this month, the European Parliament approved the plan — but now, there’s been a slight twist.

After Germany sought an exemption for carbon-neutral fuels, the E.U. appears to be going along with it. As the AssociatedPress reported earlier on Sunday (via Autoblog), the two seem to have found a balance. Frans Timmermans of the European Commission provided an update on the process via Twitter.

“We have found an agreement with Germany on the future use of efuels in cars,” Timmermans wrote. “We will work now on getting the CO2-standards for cars regulation adopted as soon as possible, and the Commission will follow-up swiftly with the necessary legal steps to implement recital 11.”

As the New York Times reported earlier in the week, the debate over whether or not to allow carbon-neutral fuels has divided the automotive industry. Some have supported allowing them, while others have doubled down on a fully electric strategy. The Times cites both Ford and Volvo of supporting the ban on internal-combustion vehicles, while Porsche was among those in favor of modifying the ban to include carbon-neutral fuels.

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It’s been a contentious process so far, and it remains unclear what effect this modification will have on various automakers’ plans going forward. This has concluded one debate, but it’s opened the doors for many more.