No clear commitment to zero-emission fuels: “German Government is missing a great opportunity for climate protection”

    Berlin, May 20, 2021

    Hydrogen and e-fuels represent an important contribution to the climate protection strategy – Act transposing the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) into national law is not ambitious enough – E-mobility and renewable fuels must be complementary

    Today the German Bundestag passed the national implementation of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED II), thus approving the promotion of energy from renewable sources in fuels. Unfortunately, there is still no minimum quota for hydrogen and electricity-based fuels.

    “We see the rapid ramp-up of electric mobility as an obvious priority precisely in the passenger car segment. However, if the goal of climate-neutral road traffic is to be achieved all technologies will be needed. And they include hydrogen and e-fuels. A total of 1.5 billion vehicles are in use by consumers around the world. In many regions there will not be sufficient electricity available for e-cars or charging options for some time to come. E-fuels based on sustainable sources such as sun and wind therefore represent a good option for running vehicles climate-neutrally here, too. We won’t achieve climate neutrality if the vehicles on the roads are left out of the equation. Even though it’s to be welcomed that the legislator’s greenhouse gas reduction quota of 25% – rightly – goes beyond the EU requirement, Germany is missing an opportunity for climate protection by still not having its own sub-quota of 5% for hydrogen and e-fuels in 2030 – so an important incentive for using this technology is absent,” said VDA President Hildegard Müller.

    Müller continued: “The topic also belongs on the agenda at EU level. As part of the “fit for 55” package, we are backing not only clear supporting measures for the ramp-up of electric mobility, but also a quota of 30% renewable fuels in 2030.”

    “This would create an international market that makes renewable energy from other regions of the world available for mobility in Europe. It could enable the vehicles on the market to contribute to climate neutrality,” Müller explained.

    On the positive side, the envisaged greenhouse gas reduction quota of 25% by 2030 is much higher than the minimum quota prescribed by the EU, which is currently only 14%. However, it is still possible to use multipliers when counting certain options in fulfillment of this quota. The quota will therefore not be effective enough to get e-fuels onto the market in sufficient quantities.

    “The new European climate protection goals can be achieved only if e-mobility and renewable fuels complement one another – the 2030 climate target cannot be achieved with only one of these two pillars,” said Müller.