The German Transport Ministry said on Monday that talks with the European Commission about the planned end of new combustion engines in 2035 are moving forward. However, the ministry

said it wasn't sure when an agreement would be reached.

The European Parliament, the Commission, and member states of the European Union reached an agreement last year on the law that would make it impossible to sell cars with combustion engines starting in 2035 and requiring new cars sold in the EU to have zero CO2 emissions.

Advertisement Continue scrolling Germany announced its opposition this month. It wants new cars that use e-fuels to be sold after that date even if they have internal combustion engines.

A ministry spokesperson stated at a news conference, "There are positive trends that are a good basis for further talks."

A letter from the ministry to the EU executive that was seen by Reuters showed that the ministry, which is run by the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), made a proposal last week that the Commission should provide a separate vehicle category for cars that only run on e-fuels.

Advertisement Continue reading by scrolling to the bottom of the page The Commission declined to comment on the letter, which also suggested allowing car manufacturers to count such vehicles toward meeting CO2 targets.

During a news conference on Thursday, EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans stated that once a deal on a law is reached between EU countries and the European Parliament, it is essential that both parties respect it.

"At the same time, we have to make sure that the interpretation of that agreement people give is also something we can agree upon. And this is an ongoing conversation we are having with the German authorities right now," Timmermans said.

Because the regulations agreed upon by the bloc's member states and the Commission have been approved by the European Parliament, such modifications pose a legal challenge because they could be time- and labor-intensive.

According to a representative of the EU, member states were informed at a meeting in November that the Commission would propose registering electric vehicles after 2035, but only after the final adoption of the CO2 law for automobiles. Photo by Jörg Zägel, Wikimedia commons.