Experts defend combustion engines as EU begins phase out

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Mechanical Engineering Industry Association criticises EU plan for phasing out of internal combustion engines in cars.

The European Commission’s plan to only allow battery and fuel cell electric vehicles on the European market from 2035 has been criticised by an expert group of mechanical engineers.

The Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) – a Frankfurt-based group of German and other European firms – says that fossil fuels are the problem, not internal combustion engine technology. It argues that the EU’s plan would put 160,000 powertrain jobs at risk in Europe and endanger the continent’s industrial strength.

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Karl Haeusgen, president of the VDMA, said: “Instead of effectively banning the combustion engine by limiting all tailpipe emissions to zero, all climate-friendly drive options should be used.

“The internal combustion engine powered by CO2-neutral, green eFuels remains a necessary complement to the electrification of road transport. After all, it is not the engine that is the problem, but the fossil fuels used to date.”

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The European Commission’s plan for phasing out internal combustion engines is currently being discussed in committees of the EU Parliament. The news comes after the launch of the new Green NCAP life cycle assessment programme, which suggests that larger EVs may not be as environmentally friendly as previously thought.

Brands such as Porsche have invested large amounts of money into synthetic fuels and biofuels, although some research has cast doubt on the eco-friendliness of the later.

Tristan Shale-Hester

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