Stirrings of Euro eco-rebellion, by Mark Higgie

What if somebody comes up with something better than electricity or fossil fuel to power cars within the next few years? From Mark Higgie at

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It’s not often that a development in north-western Tasmania looms large on the international stage. But a site near Burnie is set to be a key part of Germany’s resistance to Green pressure to abandon internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles in favour of electric cars. Porsche is the driving force behind the A$1 billion investment in the HIF (Highly Innovative Fuels) plant now in development – one of three such e-fuel plants globally – as part of a move to mass production by 2026. E-fuel, not yet commercially available, is a combination of hydrogen with carbon dioxide captured from the atmosphere which ICE vehicles can run on. While the use of e-fuel produces carbon emissions, these are offset according to producers by the CO2 sucked from the atmosphere to make the fuel. Germany’s car producers are touting ICE vehicles using e-fuel – with the price eventually expected to be around A$2 a litre – as an alternative to battery-powered cars.

Germany’s insistence that ICE vehicles can and must remain into the future has shown that even for its Green-Left government, economics can eventually trump environmental political correctness. The country remains by far Europe’s largest car producer and is the world’s largest car exporter by value, employing 800,000, 5 per cent of the workforce. Car production has in large part powered Germany’s modern economy and more than a little Teutonic pride is inspired by the fact that one of their own, Karl Benz, pioneered the first reliable petrol engine and commercial production of ICE vehicles.  Torpedoing the EU plan to ban the sale of new ICE vehicles will allow car producers to continue using their existing products and infrastructure.

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