Lindner calls for abolition of state purchase premiums for e-cars and retrofitting of internal combustion engines

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Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) © IMAGO / Christian Spicker

Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of Transport Winfried Hermann (Greens) does not believe in the proposal from Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) to abolish state purchase premiums for e-cars.

Berlin – Hermann told the German press agency on Wednesday: “Lindner is clearly opposed to anything that could turn traffic around: the planned EU-wide ban on internal combustion engines and the promotion of electric cars. His criticism of unnecessary subsidies is hypocritical.”

There are some climate-damaging government subsidies that could be removed quickly, Hermann said: “The lower diesel tax, the commuting subsidy, the tank discount and the company car privilege.”

After Lindner’s advance, a spokesman for Germany’s Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (The Greens) also stated that the purchase campaign was relevant to the traffic transformation. He referred to the department’s proposal for additional electric car financing from 2023 and an internal government vote on this that is still ongoing.

Lindner calls for improvements to internal combustion engines

Minister of Finance Christian Lindner has called for improvements in the dispute over the planned EU-wide end of internal combustion engines from 2035 and at the same time signaled a willingness to talk. The head of the FDP said on Wednesday in Berlin, in addition to a trade union conference for the German tax union, that synthetic fuels should have a perspective as an alternative. “Climate neutrality is as possible as synthetic liquid fuels in reciprocating engines. If it can be mapped at European level, there is nothing to prevent approval.”

However, the current proposal is not enough. “That means we can talk again if the bill had changed,” Lindner said. FDP parliamentary group leader Lukas Koehler confirmed on Wednesday that Germany could not agree to EU plans “in the form now proposed”. “It would be a big mistake to ban the internal combustion engine and thus exclude climate-neutral fuels from the competition for the best climate protection technologies,” said Köhler of the German press agency. Even if the ban were to come, according to Köhler, “far more than a billion existing vehicles with internal combustion engines in the world would need a climate-friendly perspective”. He fears that a ban would slow down their development.

Government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said on Wednesday about the coalition’s dispute over phasing out internal combustion engines, the federal government is currently in talks. It will then be announced how she will behave in the responsible EU committee.

FDP rejects a ban on the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines from 2035 at EU level. The Liberals demand that vehicles with internal combustion engines can be re-registered after 2035 if it can be proven that they are only powered by e-fuels. However, the plans so far do not allow for this. The Green-led Ministry of the Environment advocates a phasing out of internal combustion engines from 2035.

At the EU environment ministers’ meeting next Tuesday, the EU states want to take a position on the project. The decision does not have to be unanimous, a qualified majority is enough. Germany could also abstain from voting if the fronts remain as hardened as they are at present. (dpa)

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