Opposing sides on synthetic fuels between the European Union and seven EU countries led by Germany and Italy

There are no longer 4, but 7 countries that deviate from the emission reduction law that the European Commission believed only depended on the formalization of a “sung” vote on March 7. Italy was the first under the proclamation that “each State must be able to choose the path” to achieve the common goals of achieving a neutral continent by 2050. The Prime Minister herself said this, Giorgia Meloni. His arguments are based on the importance of the automobile industry to the country’s economy.

Later, the governments of poland and romania, although their interests are not directly in the production of automobiles as a source of employment and income. Then came the decision Germany, expressed by the Minister of Transport, Volker Wissingcoinciding with Meloni regarding the influence of the automobile industry on the country’s economy, since it employs around 800,000 people and earns around 411 billion euros, being the main national industrial activity.

On the basis of Germany’s proposal, voting was halted and it was announced that negotiations would begin immediately with all levels of government to find a solution that both parties would agree to. From the German rank, three other Eastern European countries were added to this rank: Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Volker Wissing, German Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, supports not only synthetic fuels but also hydrogen as a sustainable fuel for the future.

Germany asks as a condition for the approval of the regulation that the electronic or synthetic fuels, known as e-fuels, are considered carbon neutral because they are produced in the laboratory, capturing CO2 from the atmosphere and synthesizing it with green hydrogen from wind generators. In the text sent by the European Commission from Brussels, this was not clearly stated, but indirectly implied, which could leave them out of what is allowed after 2035, when internal combustion engines powered by petroleum derivatives are prohibited from manufacturing.

These fuels allow cars with internal combustion engines can continue to work without emitting greenhouse gases as it happens today. This would keep the industry at its current employment and production values, avoiding a social and economic crisis.

The detractors of e-fuels it is said to require a lot of water and electricity to make, and its cost is still very high compared to fossil gasoline. its defenders They guarantee that these costs will fall as production scales up and that the electricity they consume is not a problem because it is generated from renewable sources.

E-fuels can be used in today’s cars, but a way must be developed to prevent users from loading conventional gasoline into cars made after 2023

But while this discussion is going on, a new problem arose this must be resolved before writing the new text that conforms to Germany and its eventual “allies”. If synthetic fuel can be used without having to modify current internal combustion engines, there is a risk that many people will decide continue to carry petroleum-derived gasoline in their cars instead of expensive e-fuel. The benefit for each user’s pocket would be remarkable, at least until the prices are similar or the same, but the contamination would not decrease as the idea promises.

Possible solutions can come from a change in the composition of synthetic fuels so that they cannot be mixed or replaced by those of fossil origin, in ban current gas stations and replace them with electronic fuel stations, or develop a way to control its use without affecting fuel or mechanics.

The first option would imply a different development of new laboratory fuels, but, in turn, would oblige those who want to continue to use cars with internal combustion engines, to make an investment of money in your cars, to adapt them to new technology without turning back. If one intends to “save” the nearly 2 billion cars with thermal engines that would exist in the world by 2035, this cost could leave out those who cannot pay.

One of the options being studied is to change the composition of e-fuels to prevent them from being replaced by conventional gasoline if their use is not regulated.

If, on the contrary, one tried to eliminate the sale of fuels derived from petroleum at filling stations, there would be two problems to be solved: that e-fuel producers will mostly be the same oil companies as they are today, and they are the ones who will decide whether it is a profitable business to develop these e-fuels; and that the new fuels would have to have a gigantic production grade to be able to supply the whole worldsomething that could only happen over a long period of time and huge costs.

The other option is a digitalization of the fuel dispatch system at the points of sale, which makes it possible to identify that each car filled with conventional gasoline is a model prior to 2035, in order to gradually manage consumption and prevent new cars from continuing to operate with the old technology. It seems the least complex of the alternatives, although it is also very difficult to apply.

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