Brussels (dpa) – With more electric bicycles, or E-bikes, now on the roads, German Transport Minister Volker Wissing said Germany needs to consider expanded infrastructure for cyclists.

“Due to the new ranges achieved with the electrification of bicycles, we also need new transport infrastructure,” Wissing said on Wednesday at a meeting of EU transport ministers in Brussels. Cycling paths and parking spaces for bicycles are among the transport infrastructure that Wissing said may need to be expanded.

Wissing, a member of the free-market conservative Free Democratic Party (FDP), said that it is also important to strengthen the railroads. But he also argued that young people would continue to obtain driving licenses and that cars would continue to be used in the future.

He made it clear that road traffic must emit fewer greenhouse gases more quickly, and once again called for greater consideration of so-called e-fuels instead of just battery electric vehicles in the future.

By using e-fuels, or synthetic fuels that are made in a more climate friendly way rather than traditional petrol or diesel, internal combustion engines could theoretically be operated in a climate-neutral way.

However, e-fuels for cars are also criticised because experts say that those kinds of fuels are relatively energy intensive to produce and will be more urgently needed in the maritime shipping and aviation industries.

“We need such fuels,” Wissing said at the meeting of EU transport ministers on Wednesday in Brussels, noting that Germany is organising an international conference on “e-fuels” later this year.” We need the diversity of drive systems in order to make faster progress in the decarbonisation of transport,” he said. (3 April)

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