EU Parliament must set more ambitious emissions targets to drive down EV costs

European lawmakers have backed a 2035 deadline for zero-carbon cars, but experts have criticised politicians for voting down earlier cut off points which could help make electric vehicles (EVs) more affordable.

The environment committee of the European Parliament has proposed new emissions targets for carmakers, working towards a complete ban on new internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEs) by 2035. Manufacturers now have until 2025 to cut emissions from cars by 20% compared to last year, with a 55% reduction required by 2030 and 100% necessary by 2035. 

Meanwhile, for vans the targets are 15% by 2025, 50% by 2030, and 100% by 2035. A vote on whether to adopt the new standards will take place early June, and, if successful, MEPs will then start a negotiating process with the 27 member governments to finalise the law. 


However, analysts have criticised these goals, claiming they don’t go far enough fast enough to continue pushing the cost of EVs down. Interim targets that must be reached by 2027 and a more significant reduction by 2030 have been recommended to reduce prices in the nascent zero-emissions vehicle industry, which is vital to continue improving affordability and accessibility for the public, particularly those on lower incomes.

‘The EU clean car rules are driving down the costs of the electric vehicles that we need to decarbonise cars and meet our climate targets. But the EV boom will falter for the next 10 years unless lawmakers step in with an interim target in 2027 and a more ambitious goal in 2030. Without it, Europe may not sell enough zero-emissions cars to meet its own 2030 goals as well as those of many EU countries,’ said Alex Keynes, Clean Vehicles Manager at green group Transport & Environment (T&E). 

In contrast, the parliamentary committee has been praised for voting down a proposed loophole which would have allowed the use of synthetic fuels in ICEs beyond 2035. Lobbyists from the fossil fuel industry continue to tout the benefits of so-called ‘e-fuels’, while environmental campaigners point to the fact they still lead to emissions of nitrogen oxides and are significantly more expensive to run compared to electric vehicles.

‘Battery electric vehicles offer drivers the cleanest, most efficient and affordable way to decarbonise, while synthetic fuels in cars would provide a new lease of life for old polluting engines. The parliament needs to keep the door closed to what would be a costly, inefficient diversion from the EU’s race to net zero,’ said Keynes. 

In related news, the UK Department for Transport has spent 15 times more on private, low-tax EVs charge points compared to public devices with a higher VAT rate. Critics have again voiced concerns that only mid-to-high earning households are able to make the switch to low and zero emission vehicles.  







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2 years ago

Thank you. This situtation really does need sorting out. Boris Johnson, where are you? Not everyone can manage with just a bike.

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