Either way, Brussels eventually caved, giving Germany assurances that vehicles such as Porsche’s 911 sports car — a model Lindner has owned — may get a future exemption if they run solely on e-fuels. While most industry leaders breathed a sigh of relief that Europe is going ahead with phasing out fossil fuels in cars, Germany’s last-minute strong-arming left some worrying that Berlin set a dangerous precedent for approval of other parts of the Green Deal.
We must have short memories. These are same folks that were responsible for dieselgate and endangered the lives of everyone who breaths air. Now they are selling snake oil, proposing e-fuels that have yet to be developed, as a solution.
The German government’s behavior underscores the disruptive nature of Europe’s bid to become carbon-neutral by mid-century. The country’s auto industry spent decades perfecting the production of crankshafts, diesel injectors and other components not needed for electric motors, and is now under pressure to retool products and factories with potentially devastating effects to employment. Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche have started the transition, but remain well behind Tesla in EV sales.
There’s no debating this transition will be politically risky. Unfortunately for government leaders, e-fuels look like an unlikely savior of “das Auto” or German jobs.