There's hope yet for ICE and its glorious noises.
For some time now, news coming out of Europe has spelled doom for the era of the internal combustion. The European Union has brought forward a plan to end the sale of all combustion cars by 2035, and a recent European Parliament vote confirmed that the new law will not allow for even 10% of cars to be powered by fuel and fire. That was disappointing, but it was not the end. The law still has to be voted on by each individual member nation before being passed. This voting process has not yet begun, but the land of the fastest freeways and the home of the BMW M3 has said no to the proposal anyway.
During an event hosted by Germany's BDI industry association on Tuesday, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said that the government there will not agree to European Union plans to effectively ban the sale of new cars with combustion engines from 2035, reports Automotive News Europe. Lindner explained that there will still be niches for combustion engines by that time, so a ban is wrong and the German government will not agree to the new legislation. However, Lindner did say that Germany would continue to be a leading market for EVs. Germany is not the only EU member that has spoken out against the full-scale ban either, so there remains hope for petrolheads (gearheads) in Europe.
The Czech Republic, one of the world's biggest vehicle builders on a per-capita basis, has been a vocal opponent of the law too, with Prime Minister Andrej Babis saying that "it's not possible" and that his nation will not agree to this ban. Italy's Minister for Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, has also opposed the idea, saying that special cars like Ferraris and Lamborghinis, an integral part of Italian culture, should be protected from the ban. With Germany adding its voice to opposing the ban, the chances of the law being restructured again are high. This is both good news and bad news, however.
For those of us who love combustion engines, it means that automakers like Porsche can confidently push ahead with their development of synthetic fuels. These could offer us the joy of an emotive sound with all the benefits of zero-emission propulsion. Good, right? Yes, but now for the other side of the coin.
One of the biggest problems with enforcing measures that aim to slow and prevent climate change is the bureaucratic red tape that seems to be neverending. While we're glad that there's now a better chance of intoxicating engines surviving, the planet can't afford for the goalposts to be moved further and further. The EU (and the rest of the world, for that matter), needs to agree and make a decision that will allow our grandchildren to live in a hospitable environment, and enforce it. If politicians can only argue, then we'll have to prepare to say goodbye to Miami as it sinks below the rising seas.