European Parliament votes for 2035 end date for combustion engine cars

The European Parliament has voted to set a 2035 deadline for zero-emission cars and vans, in a significant step forward for air quality and climate action.

MEPs voted to require carmakers to cut their average fleet emissions by 15% in 2025, compared to 2021, by 55% in 2030, and by 100% in 2035.

The parliament also rejected a loophole for synthetic fuels in cars, with new lifecycle analysis from Transport & Environment findings that e-fuels would reduce the CO2 emissions of a car bought in 2030 by just 5%, as well as contributing to air pollution.

Environment Ministers will decide their position on vehicle emissions targets at a summit on June 28 before entering into negotiations with the parliament. The final law is expected to be agreed in autumn.

Transport is the biggest source of emissions in Europe, with cars responsible for 12% alone. The transport sector also consumes 65% of oil in Europe, almost all of which is imported.

black vehicle

Alex Keynes, clean vehicles manager at T&E, said: ‘The deadline means the last fossil fuel cars will be sold by 2035, giving us a fighting chance of averting runaway climate change. Phasing out combustion engines is also a historic opportunity to help end our oil dependence and make us safer from despots. And it gives the certainty the car industry needs to ramp up production of electric vehicles, which will drive down prices for drivers.’

They added: ‘Environment ministers should double down on 2035 and leave no room for diversions into fake green solutions like e-fuels. Allowing synthetic fuels in cars would be an expensive and wasteful diversion from the mammoth task of cleaning up transport. Battery electric vehicles are ready today and are a cleaner, cheaper, more efficient way to decarbonise.’

In related news, Air Quality News editor Chloe Coules investigates the potential for smart road user charging to revolutionise how we pay for the negative impacts of road use, from air pollution and congestion to road safety and maintenance.

Photo by Matt Boitor


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