German Government Thinks Synthetic Fuel Is a Better Option Than EVs—Some Carmakers Agree

The Internal Combustion Engine ban or ICE is set to take effect within the next decade, however, some governments and companies think the solution is synthetic fuels and not EVs. 
Written by Serena Aburahma
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Mar 9, 2022
Internal combustion engine (ICE)
Electric vehicles
are poised to take over the world as society gets serious about fighting climate change, but EVs may not be the only vehicles on the road in the future. There are other forms of clean transportation available, such as
electric motorcycles
.
Now, some governments are thinking that synthetic fuel has a place in the more eco-friendly future. Here's a look at why the German government and some carmakers think that synthetic fuel may be the way forward. 

Some people are against the ICE ban and want synthetic fuel

Many countries are fighting climate change by banning ICE (internal combustion engine) cars in the future. Depending on the country, the ICE ban will happen around 2030 or 2035. Not everybody is on board with the ICE ban, however. 
For example, Italy wants to
make some exceptions
for Italian supercars. According to
The Drive
, some German automakers are also skeptical towards the upcoming ICE ban. Audi has ended its development of ICE, but BMW and Porsche haven't done the same.
Porsche thinks it's actually possible to create cars that run on low-carbon synthetic fuels. If this is possible, then those cars can be an alternative to EVs, and automakers and governments won't have to invest as much into EV infrastructure. 

The pros and cons of synthetic fuel

That is one of the big pros of synthetic fuels compared to EVs. The current
bipartisan infrastructure bill
has plans to spend billions on creating the charging infrastructure that's necessary for EVs, but that's just one step in the whole process. 
Larger commercial vehicles will require even more investment. Even if the infrastructure is in place, there is some skepticism about the world's ability to get the raw metals that are necessary for EVs in an ethical way. If scientists can create a synthetic fuel that is low-carbon, then it would help solve many of those hurdles. 
One of the main cons of synthetic fuels, however, is that being low-carbon may not be good enough. Since synthetic fuels would still be used in ICE cars, those cars would still emit something from their tailpipes. EVs do not have this problem whatsoever. 

Can synthetic fuel cars beat the ICE ban?

The German government isn't the only government that thinks synthetic fuels may have a future, but it ultimately depends on what the scientists and engineers can do. EV tech isn't just sitting around, either. Scientists are improving EVs as we speak. 
It's possible that scientists can create EVs that solve or reduce the infrastructure problems that EVs currently face. After all, the ICE ban isn't going to happen for about a decade. Scientists and engineers have a lot of time to improve on the technology before the ICE ban comes into effect.
ICE ban or no ICE ban, the fact that synthetic fuels will probably still create some emissions isn't going to be popular. The world wants to reduce emissions as much as possible, and EVs are the clear winner compared to synthetic fuels. This makes it unlikely that synthetic fuels will beat EVs in the future.

Keep your EV insured

No matter how your future car gets its fuel, it'll still need to be insured.
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