The EU’s internal combustion ban is intended to make the electric car without alternative. The e-car lobby is therefore up in arms against e-fuels and other eco-fuels. Now, for the first time, an independent test has been carried out to determine what the air-conditioning fuel is really good for.

With five different car models, ADAC carried out 100 measurements to determine how well the vehicles tolerated the new climate fuels and what the CO2 and pollutant balance was. The experts give the synthetic fuel good marks: “The laboratory tests have shown that the synthetic fuels work without any problems, provided the models are approved for the respective fuel. The measurements were able to confirm that the pollutant emissions are not worsened by the alternative fuels,” says the ADAC.

The result also refutes claims made by the transport lobby association

E-fuels are synthetically produced fuels that are produced with wind or solar energy and are significantly more climate-friendly than normal petrol. Porsche is already producing the air-conditioning fuel in a test facility in Patagonia. Corporations like Saudi Aramco are planning to mass-produce the eco-fuel so that it will also be marketable on the cost side. Because currently the eco-fuel is still too expensive to produce. Other alternatives to fossil fuels are fuels made from residues, such as HVO.

Insider reports, tests, guides, videos, background information: FOCUS Online provides you with the most important news from the auto department every week. Here you can subscribe to the newsletter easily and free of charge.

The ADAC calls for a stronger focus on e-fuels as a supplement to electromobility. “The opportunity should now be seized to continuously reduce the fossil content by adding e-fuel and thus make an important contribution to environmental protection right now,” says ADAC Technical President Karsten Schulze. You don’t have to wait for the renewal of the entire vehicle fleet. Therefore, the often-cited argument that there are not enough e-fuels available for the entire fleet does not speak against their use.

According to the ADAC, only prototype e-fuels were available for the current study, which are of good quality but do not yet exploit the full potential of artificially produced fuels. “An ideally designed e-fuel could ultimately even have a positive effect on air pollution control, since, for example, a reduced proportion of aromatics in the fuel can ensure lower particle emissions,” say the ADAC technicians.

According to the club, the petrol alternatives with the EN 228 standard could easily be used in any petrol engine. “Paraffinic diesel fuels such as HVO, on the other hand, are not 100% compatible with the EN 590 diesel standard, which is why a diesel engine must be explicitly approved for them. Some car manufacturers are still very reluctant to approve their diesel models for paraffinic fuels such as HVO. In Scandinavian countries, people are already further ahead here,” say the experts. Germany should therefore orient itself to other countries and issue the approvals.

The green-led economics and environment ministries of the traffic light government have so far rejected this recognition because they fear that the ramp-up of electromobility could then be in danger. Other countries, such as Scandinavian countries or the US state of California, are already further along and are increasingly relying on eco-fuels in order to quickly improve the CO2 balance of traffic in parallel with the increasing number of e-cars.

Michael Haberland, President of the “Mobil in Deutschland” automobile club, also supports the ADAC initiative. “It won’t work without e-fuels, we simply need clean fuel for the huge fleet of combustion engines that exist today and will exist for a long time to come. Pure e-mobility is an illusion and cannot be represented physically,” Haberland told FOCUS Online.

The EU wants to ban the new registration of all combustion engines from 2035 and only allow battery vehicles. Whether there are exceptions for cars fueled with e-fuels is still unclear and is being negotiated. After all, it should be checked in 2026 what actual contribution electromobility makes to reducing emissions in the EU. EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton has concerns as to whether the ban on combustion engines in the EU can come as planned in 2035. In an interview with Politico’s Brussels Playbook, he refers to the review clause he introduced for the year 2026. Then the decision with all its effects would have to be reviewed again without reservations – and in the worst case the EU would have to pull the emergency brake.

In Germany in particular, the federal government’s energy policy in connection with the gas crisis caused by the Ukraine war means that the actual CO2 balance of electric cars is likely to worsen in the future. Reasons are the too slow expansion and the lack of base load capability of wind and solar energy, the complete exit from CO2-neutral nuclear power and the necessary additional use of coal-fired power generation.

With an electricity price brake the federal government wants to cushion the consequences of higher prices. In order to help finance this, surplus proceeds “due to the war and the crisis” are to be skimmed off. But a new report now suggests that this plan could be illegal.

Federal Economics Minister Habeck has now confirmed the gas deal with Qatar, but otherwise does not want to say much about it. With his trip to the emirate in the spring, he only set the political framework. What does the agreement mean for Germany now? A gas market expert explains.

Switzerland is very worried about a blackout in winter and is preparing radical austerity measures in the event of shortages. These include driving bans for electric cars. There could also be restrictions in Germany – first when loading.

Also interesting for you:

Savers can breathe a sigh of relief: More and more banks are once again paying considerable interest for overnight and time deposits. But investors have to examine the offers carefully. Here are the most lucrative offers.

On our e-mobility portal you will find all e-vehicles available on the German market

You can also arrange a test drive for the car of your choice free of charge and thus start e-mobility in an uncomplicated manner.