Germany has mixed feelings about EU ICE ban

German Transport Minister Volker Wissing called into question a bid by the European Union to ban new cars with internal combustion engines from 2035, saying the use of synthetic fuels should remain possible after the deadline.

"Now the European Commission must deliver," Wissing of the pro-business FDP said in a press conference, urging the EU's executive to take a more flexible approach.

The Environment Ministry, led by the Greens, was surprised by Wissing's announcement, with a spokesperson saying that Germany's approval of the combustion engine ban was "coordinated with the other ministries".

The FDP has long advocated for climate-neutral synthetic fuels, also known as e-fuels, arguing their use would enable the continued use of combustion engines.

The European Parliament, the Commission and EU member states agreed last year to phase out combustion engines for passenger cars from 2035. But EU countries still need to rubber stamp the decision before it can take effect, with representatives due to meet this week ahead of a formal vote next week.

If Germany's coalition cannot agree a position, it would have to abstain which, along with some resistance from Italy and some eastern European countries, could throw the whole EU ban into question.

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