Combustion engine turned off: How German car companies plan to switch to using electric cars

Combustion engine turned off: How German car companies plan to switch to using electric cars

Updated on 02/07/2022 at 09:59

  • A thin charging network, scarce raw materials, different world markets – when switching to electric cars, German companies are doing the balancing work.
  • However, VW, BMW, Audi and Mercedes are following a different path.
  • A summary of who wants to sell combustion engines and where and for how long.

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The EU wants to ban new petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles from 2035 and allow fully electric vehicles. This makes Europe a global pioneer. The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) considers this goal to be “ambitious” and refers to scarce raw materials and a narrow charging network. There are only 307,000 points to levy in the EU today – half of them in Germany and the Netherlands.

How are European car manufacturers doing now? In Asia and America, they should still be able to sell combustion engines after 2035 so as not to lose a significant portion of sales and profits, says industry expert Frank Schwope from NordLB. “After all, it is not expected that electricity mobility will be widespread around the world by then. China, for example, has no plans to finish cars with internal combustion engines by 2060.”

At least in the European market, several car companies want to supply only battery cars even before the EU ban. According to Schwope Peugeot, Citroen and Opel from 2028, Fiat, Renault, Ford and Nissan from 2030 and a subsidiary of Volkswagen Audi from 2033.


Ingolstadt wants to launch the latest new model with a combustion engine in 2025 and sell it around 2033 – SUV for the American market. From then on, Audi only wanted to build combustion engines in China, for a huge Chinese market.


While Audi boss Markus Duesmann calls for “technological transparency”, BMW boss Oliver Zipse promotes “technological transparency”. Every second BMW should be a battery vehicle by 2030. But he thinks the EU ban on combustion engines from 2035 is incorrect: “Putting everything on one card these days is an industrial policy violation.” Whether the necessary payment infrastructure can be created by 2035 is an open question. How Europe wants to ensure access to raw materials is unknown. New dependents are threatened here.


At Mercedes-Benz, the motto is: “By 2030, we are ready to make full use of electricity wherever market conditions allow.” Board member Jörg Burzer said that the manufacturer is expected to be fully involved in the mobility of electricity in the first plants around 2025. New factories should not be built for this.


Volkswagen has also not given a specific departure date and refers to regional differences. Consumers in South America are likely to continue to apply for gasoline, diesel or even biofuels. However, Wolfsburg expect that interest will decline sharply due to strict rules. From 2035 onwards, electric vehicles should remove combustion engines. By 2030, half of the model in the group should be battery cars, and the VW brand then wants to sell 70 percent of cars in Europe as electric cars. (hub / dpa)

From 2035, EU countries only want to allow air-conditioned vehicles. This should also include cars that use so-called e-fuels, which should be generated by green electricity, for example.