The European Parliament has voted to make sales of new ICE vehicles illegal from 2035 as it aims to become the first carbon neutral continent by 2050.
In a vote held on Wednesday 8th May, the EU upheld its decision to ban the sale of any new ICE vehicles in the 27-nation bloc from 2035.
As first reported by Reuters, the vote upholds a key pillar of the European Union’s plans to cut net planet-warming emissions 55% by 2030, from 1990 levels – a target that requires faster emissions reductions from industry, energy and transport.
Proposals from the European Commission to require a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions from new cars by 2035 were supported, making it impossible to sell fossil fuel-powered vehicles in the EU from then. Attempts to weaken the target to a 90% CO2 cut by 2035 were dismissed.
The push for a 90% CO2 cut was made by the German Automobile Industry Association (VDA), with it suggesting that 2035 is too sudden and that low carbon fuels should be considered first before such a law was introduced, especially considering uncertainties surrounding electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
VDA President Hildegard Müller said: “It is too early to set a target for 2035 given the unclear developments regarding the framework conditions. It is important to keep the door open to the use of all climate-friendly technological solutions even after 2035 – also with a view to strategic resilience in the context of increasing dependence on raw materials. Bans don’t help, they neither promote innovation nor acceptance. We therefore reject a ban on combustion engines.”
The law is not yet final. Wednesday’s vote confirms the parliament’s position for upcoming negotiations with EU countries on the final law.
However, many major OEMs have already adjusted their production plans to largely focus on electric vehicles, and you can see which manufacturer’s will be leading the way in the latest edition of the EV Powered magazine.\
Charlie Atkinson, Editor of EV Powered, commented: “Whilst this vote from the European Union is a positive step in the sense that a concrete date is in place, it fails to pack any sort of punch. The majority of car manufacturers have already outlined their electrification strategies, many of which are planning to ramp up production of electric vehicles way before this date. It also ignores the fact the car makers can still produce ICE vehicles and sell them to markets outside the EU. What this vote does do, however, is make it abundantly clear to everyone in Europe that electric vehicles are the way forward, but the message could have been, and perhaps should have been, a much firmer one.”