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EU formally approves sales ban of combustion engine cars by 2035

Credit: EU

A ban on all petrol and diesel-powered vehicles made its way through the European Parliament on Tuesday, February 1. The EU formally approved a law that would ban the sale of combustion engine vehicles by 2035 in an attempt to accelerate consumers’ choice of electric powertrains.

In a vote of 340 votes for, 279 votes against, and 21 abstentions, the law will push for new performance standards for new cars and vans in line with the EU’s climate goals.

The new EU law will require that all carmakers achieve a 100 percent cut in CO2 emissions by 2035 for all new cars sold, eliminating the possibility that gas or petrol-fueled engines can be sold in any of the 27 countries in the EU.

The push to transition consumers toward all-electric powertrains is an effort to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and reach lofty climate goals.

Proposed in July 2021, Italy, Portugal, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Romania all pushed to delay the sales ban in mid-2022. However, several car companies, including Volkswagen, have already committed to stop manufacturing gas-powered engines before the 2035 goal. VW is planning to phase out ICE cars in Europe by 2033.

Volkswagen, Mercedes support EU ban of ICE sales past 2035


“The operating costs of an electric vehicle are already lower than the operating costs of a vehicle with an internal combustion engine,” Jan Huitema, the EU Parliament’s lead negotiator, said. However, Huitema also recognized that initial EV costs must be reduced, which comes down to manufacturers scaling EV tech and finding more affordable battery materials and packs.

Along with the 2035 ban, the EU plans to cut 55 percent of CO2 emissions for all new cars sold from 2030 on. According to Reuters, the existing target is 37.5 percent.

The EU Parliament said it will also require all cars to be CO2 neutral by 2050. This would include the transport sector, including commercial vehicles.

The law still has to be formally endorsed by the Council later this year.

More regions across the world are adopting new climate goals that include a restriction on gas-powered engines. The State of California formally banned combustion engine sales by 2035 last year.

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EU formally approves sales ban of combustion engine cars by 2035
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