It’s no secret that the likes of Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini and more, have been pushing for such an amendment to mooted ICE bans. Much of these marque’s brand value and kudos has been built on a history of emotionally-stimulating internal combustion powerplants.
A silent future has, needless to say, proven a challenging prospect to brand marketers and car enthusiasts alike. Both will be relieved at the news, at the least implying a more secure future for past, present and future ICE power plants, beyond net-zero and beyond fossil fuels.
The significance beyond enthusiasts: motorists at large and the environmental agenda
There are theoretically much further-reaching positives that come from this. Legislative acknowledgement of e-fuels ought to increase appeal in terms of investment in the technology and therefore increase the likelihood of its proliferation. In short, it means we could be more likely to see a broadened infrastructure and affordable access to e-fuels in the future.
This means that while more of a future for ICE is secured, so is its past. ‘Clean’ e-fuels are now more likely to become affordable for everyone, beyond enthusiasts with ageing ICE classics, to motorists for whom an EV is too expensive or ill-suited to their lifestyle. At large, this is a big step towards a future where e-fuels clean up motoring’s past, as EVs look to clean up motoring’s future. The end result: all cars get cleaner.
This is progress, but more must be done
Yet we must continue to stress, as this represents a slackening of the legislative stranglehold on the private automobile, other industries continue to watch on from the sidelines. More must be done to force goals of zero-carbon, carbon neutrality and reduction on other ‘burners' – aviation, shipping, haulage and beyond – for whom battery-electric power may yet prove to be ill-suited.
As yet, the car has proven a hardy scapegoat, as the loss of local tailpipe emissions continues to be confused with total end-to-end lifecycle cleanliness. With the kind of investment this legislation could and should encourage – from the automotive industry and beyond – e-fuels could aid in the clean-up of all of the world’s oil burners, not just its cars.
Moreover, more must also be done by vehicle manufacturers – and manufacturing industries at large – to reduce carbon output in-process and in-production.