Europeans want to be free from addictions – both from oil and gas, and from despots, they write in the press.
The sale of new cars with internal combustion engines (ICE) should end in the European Union in 2035. The European Parliament voted for such a decision, which applies to cars and light commercial vehicles. Perild.com tells the details.
What did European legislators decide?
Members of the European Parliament on Wednesday supported the European Commission’s proposal to achieve zero emissions for cars and vans by 2035.
A ban on the future sale of cars with petrol and diesel engines was supported by 339 parliamentarians, 249 voted against, 24 abstained.
Some parliamentarians proposed a softer version of the law that would allow the use of hybrid engines, but these amendments were not supported in the end.
European lawmakers have also set an interim target to cut emissions by 55 percent for cars and 50 percent for vans in 2030, compared to 2021. Previously, the target was 37.5 percent. In total, cars account for 12 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the European Union.
A press release from the European Parliament clarifies that the text adopted on Wednesday will be the basis for negotiations with EU member states. According to Politico magazine, the environment ministers will meet at a summit in Luxembourg at the end of June.
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However, a ban on the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines in the EU will not mean at the same time a ban on their production by European automakers.
Stopping sales of new ICE cars will also not mean a ban on the use of previously bought cars, although the possibilities for refueling and repairing them, as well as the prospects for their further sale in the secondary market, will probably deteriorate rapidly.
Commenting on the decision of the EP, the largest European auto concern Volkswagen named declared goal “ambitious but achievable”.
“The transition to electromobility is irreversible. It is ecologically, technologically and economically the only reasonable option to replace internal combustion engines as quickly as possible,” VW management believes and stresses that the EU plans provide businesses and consumers with a reliable planning horizon.
The headquarters of another German automaker, Mercedes-Benz, told dpa that it “welcomes in principle the decision” which “imposes a duty on politicians to provide an appropriate charging infrastructure.”
The decision was also influenced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. What the press says
The Italian newspaper La Repubblica calls the results of the MEPs’ vote long-awaited a step in the right direction.
“The Parliament’s decision is a signal that cannot be ignored and confirms that the Green New Deal, proposed by Ursula von der Leyen when she took office, will remain a strategic compass for the pan-European vector of development,” the newspaper writes.
The end of the era of the internal combustion engine car is a necessary step towards the third industrial revolution.
La Repubblica notes that now absolutely all players – from the auto industry to national governments, from oil concerns to electricity suppliers who have to create an extensive energy supply network – need to rethink their strategies.
The French newspaper Le Monde recalls that The transition to electric vehicles comes with many challenges: if electric cars become the norm, then to maintain its independence, Europe will need to accelerate and increase the production of batteries and accumulators on its own territory.
In order to minimize the consequences for the environment, we will need to produce less harmful emissions into the atmosphere when producing more electricity than is the case now. Already today, the increased number of electric vehicles leads to higher prices for raw materials, the newspaper notes.
“This, in turn, will increase the cost of production – and may plunge the EU into dependence on third countries, which in this case it will have to overcome. In addition, it is also necessary to solve the issue of recycling and disposal of used batteries and accumulators,” the French authors say.
The Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten also writes that the next big challenge will be to provide the necessary infrastructure for charging stations. This issue is already being discussed in Brussels.
The transition of social and economic life from fossil fuels to climate neutrality is a long and difficult process, but the energy transition is unstoppable.
“Russia’s attack on Ukraine further strengthened that resolve. Europeans want to be free from addictions – both from oil and gas, and from despots. Even if it means that they will have to completely rethink such a mass mode of transport as a car – and rebuild its production,” the publication notes.
However, according to the German newspaper taz, the decision of the European Parliament can hardly be called ambitious, since automakers themselves are abandoning internal combustion engines.
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Thus, the largest European automaker – the Volkswagen concern – has long decided that by the scheduled date it will already stop supplying cars with internal combustion engines to the European market. Other companies stop their production even much earlier, the newspaper writes.
“By choosing 2035 as a deadline, the EP decided not to spur a process that has been going on for so long… If the EU had set an earlier date than 2035, then it would have given this transformation process a powerful impetus. Otherwise, the European Parliament only trails in the tail of events,” the article says.
German journalists note that the life span of a car is an average of 15 years, but some models serve their owners for a much longer period. “So a ban on new ICE models doesn’t mean the end of the era of diesel or petrol vehicles,” says taz.
Another German edition of DW also points out that the European auto industry, including the British, is itself rapidly phasing out internal combustion engines.
So, in the UK, they already announced earlier that they independently decided to stop the production of cars with internal combustion engines completely and unconditionally, and besides, in a much shorter time. The British company Jaguar from 2025 will produce only electric cars.
The transnational concern Stellantis intends to supply the world market with exclusively electric models of the Italian brand Lancia from 2024. The Italian company Fiat, which is part of Stellantis, is going to sell only electric vehicles in Europe from 2027, another brand of the concern, the German Opel, is preparing to make such a step in 2028.
Rolls-Royce, the British subsidiary of the German concern BMW, will switch to the production of exclusively electric vehicles in 2030, in the same year, Volvo, the Swedish subsidiary of the Chinese concern Geely, will finally abandon the internal combustion engine. Volkswagen subsidiary Audi intends to do so in 2033.
Simultaneously with car builders, some European countries, without waiting for a joint decision of the European Union, set their own dates for abandoning internal combustion engines.
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Non-EU Norway, whose car market already accounts for about 80 percent of sales from electric vehicles, will introduce a ban on new passenger cars with internal combustion engines in 2025.
In 2030, EU members Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Sweden, as well as Iceland, will ban the sale of such cars.