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Lindner wants tax cuts for cars with e-fuels


After the FDP was able to push through the further approval of vehicles powered by e-fuels in the EU, Finance Minister Lindner now wants to give them better tax treatment. He announced a concept for a reform of the motor vehicle tax.

After the agreement in the dispute over the registration of cars with combustion engines in the EU after 2035, Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner wants to reform the taxation of motor vehicles. Cars that are fueled with climate-neutral synthetic fuels – so-called e-fuels – should in future be taxed less than vehicles currently powered by petrol or diesel, said the FDP chairman.

“If the fuel is climate-friendly, then taxation, from motor vehicle tax to energy tax, must be adjusted.” The Ministry of Finance will present a concept for this. “It will be a while before we see such vehicles on the road and have e-fuels in the tank,” said Lindner. “But for people and the economy it will be an important planning factor that e-fuels are taxed more cheaply than fossil fuels.”

Agreement between the EU and the federal government

The announcement comes after weeks of wrangling over the future of internal combustion engine cars. The federal government had agreed on a compromise with the EU Commission on Friday evening. According to this, new cars with such a drive can be registered in the EU after 2035 if they are refueled with climate-neutral fuel.

The EU Parliament and the member states had actually agreed in October that from 2035 no new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles with combustion engines may be registered. However, under pressure from the FDP, Germany thwarted the decision at the last minute, which caused outrage among some of the EU partners.

It is still unclear whether the production of e-fuel cars is worthwhile

E-fuels are produced using electricity from renewable sources, water and CO2 from the air. Unlike conventional fossil fuels such as petrol or diesel, they do not release any additional gases that are harmful to the climate. Due to the high power consumption during production and the high production costs, it is currently still unclear whether the production of cars powered by e-fuels is really worthwhile.