Stop petrol and diesel: Italy backs off on the transition

Stop petrol and diesel: Italy backs off on the transition

Stop petrol and diesel

On the occasion of the Question Time in the Chamber of the day yesterday, the Minister of Economic Development, Giancarlo Giorgetti stated that a revision of the program is necessary which provides for the stop to the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2035, as indicated by the European Commission with the “Fit for 55” program. The Government, in fact, deems it necessary to change the package to favor a management of the ecological transition that takes into account the needs of the Italian automotive industry and its related social aspects.

In other words, the country would not yet be ready to make endotherms disappear in the next 14 years; the impact, for the sector, would in fact be too heavy to manage and optimize. The declaration, in any case, is not too surprising especially if we consider that Italy has decided not to join the COP26 pact in recent days which, similar to Fit for 55, provides for the stop of endothermic engines in 2035 for advanced markets and in 2040 for the rest of the world.

According to the Minister, “decarbonising cannot become synonymous with electricity” and, for this reason, “we cannot reject other roads in a prejudicial manner”. Words that go well with the thinking of brands such as Toyota and Hyundai which, on several occasions, have highlighted how electric is not the only way forward but that further solutions are needed, such as hydrogen or forms of hybridization, to offer a more varied offer. Giorgetti, in a note, also highlighted how necessary it is to continue with research and experiment with non-fossil fuels, such as e-fuel or synthetic gasoline being developed by Porsche and other brands in the automotive sector.

In conclusion, the path to follow must be rational and well thought out; for these two reasons, the switch to electric alone cannot work and a change is required with respect to the initial plans.

No ban on petrol, diesel vehicles despite govt's push towards EVs: Nitin Gadkari

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari has said that government is not planning to stop registration of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, including diesel and petrol fuelled vehicles despite's the government's push towards faster and widespread adoption of electric vehicles and use of alternative fuels like ethanol, bio-LNG, green hydrogen in India. 

Addressing a virtual event, Nitin Gadkari further reiterated the government's commitment towards sustainable fuel and green energy stating he is also trying to encourage the use of 50 per cent ethanol in aviation fuel. 'We are encouraging (adoption of) electric vehicles (EVs), and (use) of alternative fuels like ethanol, bio-LNG, green hydrogen...(But) we are not going to stop anything (ICE vehicles),' he said.

The road transport and highways minister noted that the sale of EVs has increased as people are giving good response. 'I feel that we don't need to make anything (electric vehicles) mandatory,' Gadkari added. He also pointed out that 250 startups are working on e-vehicles and this will reduce the cost of EVs. Noting that green hydrogen is the future, he said, 'I am going to buy a car next month, which will run on hydrogen.' 

Also read: Maruti Suzuki to focus on making petrol cars more fuel efficient

Back in 2019, a proposal was put forward to ban the use of electric three wheelers, and two wheelers by 2025 to push more electric vehicles in the country. However, auto companies expressed their dissatisfaction over the proposal, saying a blanket ban on the use of petrol and diesel vehicles won't help the cause of green vehicles. 

There is no development on this front from the government's side as many countries move towards zero use of ICE vehicles by 2030. The Indian Government of the day, however, is pushing towards the use of clean energy in automobiles by offering various incentives and schemes for adoption of EVs.

While the govt is offering subsidies under the FAME II policy, various state govts are also encouraging residents to opt for electric vehicles by offering hefty benefits. On the other hand, govt is aggressively working to reduce polluting vehicles on road by introducing the scrappage policy and also use of flex fuel engines in vehicles. 

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