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The EU is poised to mandate that e-fuel cars must be carbon neutral by 2035, reshaping the automotive landscape and fueling sustainability.

European Union demands that cars running on e-fuels must be 100% carbon neutral if they are to be sold beyond 2035. This move comes after Germany requested an exemption for e-fuel cars from the phase-out of new polluting vehicles.

The European Union has been at the forefront of climate policy for cars, with a commitment that all new cars sold in the EU from 2035 must have zero CO2 emissions. This commitment was agreed upon by countries earlier this year as part of the EU’s main climate policy for cars.

However, the European Commission is currently developing a legal route to allow the sales of new cars that only run on e-fuels to continue after 2035. A draft EU legal proposal reveals plans to set strict conditions for e-fuel cars, requiring them to run on fully CO2 neutral fuels. 

E-fuels are deemed carbon neutral when they are made using captured CO2 emissions that balance out the CO2 released when the fuel is combusted in an engine.

According to Reuters

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“Especially when it comes to reducing CO2 emissions of the existing fleet -- which already comprises around 250 million vehicles in Europe today -- climate-neutral fuels can play an important role in decarbonizing transport,” BMW stated, emphasizing the significant role of climate-neutral fuels in reducing CO2 emissions.

The draft rules would form a legal basis for carmakers to register a new type of vehicle—a combustion engine car that runs exclusively on carbon-neutral fuels. These vehicles must be designed so that the engine would not start if the vehicle is fueled with CO2-emitting petrol, under the draft rules. Manufacturers would need to enforce this using technologies such as devices that track the chemical properties of the fuel and develop rules to ensure these technologies cannot be tampered with.

The eFuel Alliance industry group has expressed concerns, stating that the draft proposal would effectively ban new combustion engines from 2035 if it counted emissions along the value chain as well as those from producing an e-fuel. “A 100% reduction in emissions is therefore nearly impossible,” said Ralf Diemer, the group's managing director.

The EU’s stringent approach to e-fuels is a testament to its commitment to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions in the automotive sector. The draft rules are stricter than the low-carbon fuel rules in some other EU climate policies, reflecting the EU’s resolve to set high standards for carbon neutrality.

This initiative by the European Union is a pivotal step in the global fight against climate change, potentially reshaping the automotive landscape and setting a precedent for other regions to follow. The meticulous approach to ensuring carbon neutrality in e-fuel cars underscores the urgency and the commitment required to foster a sustainable and eco-friendly future in the automotive industry.

Samira is an Electronics and Communications Engineer by profession, but deep inside, her heart is a nomad! She's a state champion debater, a public speaker, a scriptwriter, a theatre actress, but most importantly — A GREEN CITIZEN! She thinks of herself as a storyteller who thrives on enjoying the life at fullest and telling everyone the tales of life.

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