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European Parliament Approves ICE Car Ban

The European Parliament has voted in favor of the phaseout of internal combustion engine cars in the European Union from 2035.

The vote was narrow, with 340 out of 640 MEPs in favor but it confirmed plans announced by the European Commission last year. The plans were announced following a deal struck between the European Parliament and the Council of Europe to mandate zero emissions from cars and vans from 2035.

When the proposal to phase out internal combustion engine vehicles in the European Union was made last year, it immediately triggered a reaction from the auto industry.

In June, when the proposal was first made, the head of the German car industry association, Hildegard Mueller, said that Europe’s charging infrastructure is insufficiently developed for the EV targets the shift would entail. She also warned that the Commission, which made the proposal, was acting prematurely.

Besides such concerns, however, there are even more direct ones that will in all likelihood interfere with the zero-emission plans of the EU. Chief among them is an expected shortage of copper, which is used heavily in electric vehicles.

The price of lithium is also a concern even though it has fallen from the highs reached last year. Experts seem to agree that EVs only have a future as a mass way of transportation if they achieve price parity with ICE cars while offering comparable performance.

There is also the issue of Chinese dominance in the EV space along the supply chain. China, the world’s biggest EV market, is also the country with the biggest rare earths processing capacity and the leader in battery technology, as recently evidenced by Ford’s deal with CATL for the latter’s EV battery technology, to be used at Ford’s new factory in Michigan.

The head of the European Union’s Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, commented earlier that following the overwhelming approval of the ban, progress will be reviewed in three years to see how the EU would get to its 2035 zero-emission target.

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By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • David Jones on February 16 2023 said:
    Not very ambitious, but certainly realistic. The EU is already at 14% pure EV sales for 2022. It seems 2023 will be around 20%, and car manufactures are only just starting production.
  • carlos nieves on February 15 2023 said:
    This is unrealistic. Where is the infrastructure to support this? The minerals needed are already in short supply and hampered by inefficient mining practices. Not to mention the ecological impact of mining toxic materials.

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