(Bloomberg) -- German Transport Minister Volker Wissing said a deal to resolve a dispute with the European Union over plans to phase out combustion-engine cars from 2035 is “very close.”

“We should agree on a common goal, and I have the impression that we are very close to it,” Wissing said Friday in an interview with public broadcaster ARD. “And then we should agree on a way to implement it.”

Germany has been blocking final approval of an agreement reached in October that effectively phases out the combustion engine, a key pillar in the EU’s plans to reach climate neutrality by 2050.

A final vote this month, which was expected to be a formality, was delayed due to objections from Wissing’s pro-business FDP party, the junior member of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s governing alliance.

Wissing has argued that new cars running exclusively on e-fuels should be allowed after the 2035 cut-off date.

“As long as we have not reached an agreement on technology neutrality, we cannot support the overall package, but it now looks good,” Wissing told ARD.

“We have held very intensive talks and are now also very concrete in the coordination,” he added. “We are on the right track to ensure that there will be no ban on the combustion engine, but that the technology will continue to exist, but in a climate-neutral way.”

--With assistance from John Ainger.

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