In July 2021, the European Commission published an official plan that covered renewable energy sources, renovating buildings, and a proposed ban on the sale of new cars equipped with combustion engines from 2035.
The green strategy was widely discussed and some of the largest economies in the European Union were not particularly happy with the planned sales ban. However, just earlier this week, lawmakers in the EU voted to uphold the ICE ban from the middle of the next decade.
The final shape of the law will be discussed with member states later this year, though it is already known that the plan is for the automakers to reduce the CO2 emissions of their fleets by 100 percent by 2035. Basically, this means no petrol, diesel, or hybrid vehicles will be available on the new car market in the European Union. It’s important to note that this ban doesn’t mean existing combustion-powered machines will be banned from the streets.
The voting from earlier this week doesn’t effectively kill the combustion engine in Europe, though - not just yet. Before that happens, an agreement between all 27 EU nations needs to be reached and this could be a very difficult task. Germany, for example, is against a full ban on new cars with combustion engines and proposes an exception to the rule for vehicles powered by synthetic fuels. Italy's minister of ecological transition also said the future of the car “cannot be just full electric.”
In its first statement following the new agreement, Germany’s ADAC, Europe’s largest motoring association, said that "ambitious climate protection goals in transport cannot be achieved by electric mobility alone.” The organisation considers it “necessary to open up the prospect of a climate-neutral internal combustion engine.
On the other hand, Member of the European Parliament Michael Bloss said: "This is a turning point that we are discussing today. Anyone who still relies on the internal combustion engine is harming the industry, the climate, and violating European law."
About a quarter of the CO2 emissions in the European Union comes from the transportation sector and 12 percent of those emissions come from passenger cars. According to the new agreement, from 2030, the annual emissions of new cars should be 55 percent lower than in 2021.