German automakers Volkswagen AG and Mercedes announced their support of the European Union’s ban on combustion engine vehicle sales past 2035.
Last Wednesday, the EU dismissed potentially weaker ICE bans that would have aimed to cut the sales of gas-powered engines by 90 percent instead of 100 percent. According to Automotive News, the European Parliament has not made this a law yet, but the vote on Wednesday solidified the Parliament’s position when it begins negotiations with the EU. The ban would accelerate the region’s transition to EVs.
While some automakers have been lackadaisical in their planning of an EV future, VW and Mercedes have come out in support of the new legislation. VW made a series of statements about the legislation calling it “ambitious but achievable,” stating that the regulation was “the only ecologically, technically, and economically sensible way to replace combustion engines as quickly as possible,” and even praised the EU for aiding in “planning security for the future.”
Mercedes, for their part, also praised the legislation. In a statement to the German Press Agency, the groups head of external relations, Eckart von Klaeden, was quick to point out that Mercedes was already prepared to sell 100% EVs by 2030 and that “the decision puts the onus on policymakers to ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place.”
VW seems particularly poised to be ready for the legislation. The German company has been particularly supportive of converting to EVs, thanks to its CEO Herbert Diess. The automaker even started converting their Zwickau plant to EV production. Volkswagen has also started other partnerships, teaming up with Bosch to increase battery production in Europe and working with Northvolt to secure more battery production for global projects.
Other brands that have made plans to be 100% electric in Europe before 2035 include Ford, Stellantis, and Jaguar-Land Rover. However, others have been less supportive of the plan.
The legislation is part of a larger legislative package called “Fit for 55,” a plan that has the interim goal of cutting CO2 emissions in Europe by 55% by 2030. The plan has the ultimate goal of making the EU carbon neutral by 2050.
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