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What comes after the combustion engine is not even remotely clear

Europe is also just one long Friedrichstrasse.

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What comes after the combustion engine is not even remotely clear

Europe is also just one long Friedrichstrasse. A capitalism-skeptical majority of green and left-wing MEPs has decided that combustion engines will no longer be permitted from 2035. What the alternatives look like is at least open. And how the affordable mobility of the future will be made possible, too.

Other parts of the world are unlikely to follow the European trend. But the Greens in Berlin showed how transformation works: crippling what already exists in order to make what doesn't yet work inevitably appear attractive.

If you know the development periods for automotive product lines, you can guess how ambitious this phasing out of combustion engines is. If you look at how limited (to put it politely) the tendency is to buy e-mobility from free, unsubsidized pieces, you can start pondering - with all good will to travel or commute CO2-free.

The combustion engine is popular also because it is cheap and practical. E-mobility, on the other hand, is more at home with morally secure elites. The internal combustion engine was Europe's generator of prosperity for a century and a half. This included the promise of freedom that another life is only a sunrise away with a visit to the gas station and free roads.

Neither the charging infrastructure nor the battery industry, neither the insufficient durability of some e-mobiles nor the origin of the required amounts of electricity are even remotely clear. As with the EU Parliament, those who decide on this are not friends of the market economy. With its advance, Europe wants to steer technical progress and is thereby risking tens of thousands of jobs.

The really interesting question is how militant the green-red culture war against the car will be. The Greens in Berlin only wanted to have electric cars in the city from 2030: a nice way of class warfare from above. What will happen to the old combustion engines in the future? Do they remain tolerated or ideally wanted for cultural and aesthetic reasons?

Which is why the classic cars raise the question of e-fuels – one of the next front lines in Europe as well. Hopefully liberals, bourgeois and right-wingers will then be able to better defend liberty. So that you can still put a lot of twelve-cylinder in the garage in the next twelve years.

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