Germany forms alliance against phase-out of internal combustion engines by 2035

BERLIN — Germany has formed an alliance with Italy and some Eastern European countries opposing the planned phase-out of internal combustion engines from 2035, and they want to make their own proposal.

Transport ministers from the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia met on Monday to discuss changes to the European Union’ plans.

“The proposal needs changes urgently,” German transport minister Volker Wissing said on Monday.

Wissing said the skepticism about phasing out internal combustion vehicles was shared by Italy, Poland and the Czech Republic, among others. He added that the group of countries wants a separate category of combustion-engine cars that could run on synthetic, carbon-neutral fuels

, after 2035.

“A ban on the combustion engine, when it can run in a climate-neutral way, seems a wrong approach for us,” he said.

The CO2 law, the EU’s main tool to speed up Europe’s shift to electric vehicles, was put on hold earlier this month after last-minute opposition from Germany. That surprised policymakers in Brussels and other member states, since EU countries and the European Parliament had already agreed to a deal on the law last year.