Europe may delay ban of new fuel-burning cars, says Porsche

SINGAPORE: Europe’s plan to phase out the sale of new combustion-engine cars by 2035 could be pushed back, said Porsche AG chief financial officer Lutz Meschke.

"There’s a lot of discussions right now around the end of the combustion engine,” Meschke said Thursday here. "I think it could be delayed.”

A slowdown in EV orders has thrown into question whether the European Union is on track for the phaseout, which represents one of the most ambitious efforts to curb carbon emissions.

The region’s consumers have been put off by a lack of reliable charging networks, persistently high prices and the rollback of EV incentives. The UK has already postponed its planned ban of new gasoline and diesel models by five years to 2035.

While manufacturers of premium and luxury EVs can work without subsidies, cutting them from the volume segment is wrong, said Meschke, who spoke on the sidelines of the unveiling event of Porsche’s long-delayed electric macan SUV.

"We have to see how steep the ramp-up curve is in coming years,” Meschke said.

"If we have a situation like now, with certain reluctance to buy electric cars in Europe, then maybe the subsidies will come back.”

Last year, in the weeks before the EU adopted the plan to phase out new combustion-engine vehicles, Germany refused to support the push, demanding that Brussels also protect vehicles running on e-fuels - a technology backed by Porsche.

The luxury-car maker in 2022 joined a group of investors betting US$260 million on a startup building an e-fuels plant in Chile.
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