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The European Union member states on Tuesday approved an emissions regulation under which the bloc will end sales of new carbon dioxide-emitting cars and vans in 2035.
The new rules target 55% CO2 emission reductions for new cars and 50% for new vans from 2030 to 2034 compared to 2021 levels, as well as 100% CO2 emission reductions for both new cars and vans from 2035, the EU said today.
The landmark deal was made possible after Germany – the biggest economy, the biggest car market, and the biggest car manufacturer – sought and won an exemption for e-fuels. Germany wanted sales of new cars with internal combustion engines if they run on e-fuels to continue beyond 2035, and it got it late last week.
So the EU countries agreed today to end the sale of new ICE cars after 2035 if they do not run on e-fuels.
“The regulation contains a reference to e-fuels, whereby following a consultation with stakeholders, the Commission will make a proposal for registering vehicles running exclusively on CO2-neutral fuels, after 2035, in conformity with EU law, outside the scope of the fleet standards, and in conformity with the EU’s climate neutrality objective,” the EU said in a statement.
Under the new regulation, the European Commission will assess in 2026 the progress the EU has made in achieving the target. The Commission will decide whether the targets need to be reviewed.
“The review will take into account technological developments, including with regard to plug-in hybrid technologies and the importance of a viable and socially equitable transition towards zero emissions,” the Council of the EU said.
Commenting on the formal approval of the 2035 end to new gasoline and diesel car sales, Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, said, “the EU has taken an important step towards zero-emission mobility.”
“The direction is clear: in 2035 new cars and vans must have zero emissions. It brings a big contribution to climate neutrality by 2050 and is a key part of the #EUGreenDeal,” Timmermans added.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com