EU approves law to ban new ICE vehicles by 2035

The European Parliament on Tuesday passed legislation that will gradually eliminate cars with combustion engines, fundamentally transforming the auto industry in the bloc.

Under the regulation, automakers must achieve a 100 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from new vehicles sold by 2035, making it impossible to sell new fossil fuel-powered cars in the 27-country union.

Additionally, the legislation sets a goal of a 55 percent reduction in CO2 emissions for new cars sold from 2030 compared to 2021 levels, far higher than the existing objective of 37.5 percent. New vans must comply with a 100 percent CO2 reduction by 2035 and a 50 percent reduction by 2030 compared to 2021 levels.

Jan Huitema, the European Parliament’s lead negotiator on the rules, praised the regulation for promoting the production of zero- and low-emission vehicles, as well as setting ambitious targets for 2030 and a zero-emission goal for 2035, which are critical to achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

“The operating costs of an electric vehicle are already lower than the operating costs of a vehicle with an internal combustion engine,” Jan Huitema, said, adding that it was crucial to bring more affordable electric vehicles to consumers.

The targets provide clarity for the car industry, encourage innovation and investment, and will make sustainable driving accessible to everyone, he added. The agreement was made between EU countries and lawmakers last October, but the regulations require formal approval before taking effect. The European Council is expected to give its final approval in March.

While some industry and countries resisted the law when it was first proposed in July 2021, the final deal includes some flexibilities, such as allowing small automakers producing less than 10,000 vehicles per year to negotiate weaker targets until 2036. The EU’s decision has significant global implications. As the world’s largest trade bloc, the EU is renowned for setting standards globally and is home to some of the largest car manufacturers.

Blagojce Krivevski

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