We recently heard rumours about an aggressive proposal in the works from the European Commission regarding CO2 emissions. Now, that proposal is realised in an official announcement from the group that would cover all 27 nations of the European Union. It's a sweeping plan that covers everything from renewable energy sources to renovating buildings for a greener future, but our focus is on the plan to cut new car combustion engine sales by 2035.
In short, the proposal amps up the timeframe for reducing carbon emissions in the region. The plan is to reduce overall emissions by 55 percent in 2030, compared to 1990 levels. For cars, that means a 55 percent cut, and vans see a 50 percent cut in 2030. The big news is obviously 2035, at which point the proposal seeks to go completely zero-emission for all new car sales. That means pure electric across the board, and while some automakers have already pledged to be electric-only by that point, applying such a mandate to 27 countries across Europe is indeed a very big step.
The proposal does offer something of a roadmap to achieve this goal without completely upending the universe as we know it. Various carbon credits would expand to different segments, and investments into charging systems and infrastructure would be supported. That said, the proposal does specify cars as being zero-emission in 2035 so in theory, larger commercial vehicles would be exempt for at least a little while. The ultimate goal for Europe is to be totally net-zero on emissions by 2050.
It's important to note that this is just a proposal and not set in stone. Automotive News Europe points out that an approval process could take up to two years, and of course, the EU member states need to actually approve the deal. Some countries where the auto industry is a dominant force could object, and the proposal would only apply to countries in the European Union.