It’s game over for the internal combustion engine as we’ve known it in Europe, green group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said, after EU governments agreed to end sales of polluting cars and vans by 2035.
The deal reached by Environment Ministers this morning makes the switch to zero-emissions vehicles a foregone conclusion after the European Parliament voted for it earlier this month. T&E said the decision breaks the hold of the oil industry over transport and gives Europe a fighting chance of decarbonising by 2050.
Julia Poliscanova, senior director for vehicles and emobility at T&E, said, “European governments have taken the historic decision to end the sale of polluting cars. Transport is the largest source of emissions and cars are the biggest part of the problem. Today is a huge step forward for the climate fight, but also for air pollution and making electric vehicles more affordable.”
While ministers agreed that manufacturers should not receive credits towards their CO2 targets for cars powered by e-fuels, they said the Commission should submit new proposals to allow their use in the future.
While the ban will apply throughout Europe, it will not outlaw ICEs for models destined to be sold and used outside the EU and some more remote parts of the world will still need diesel and petrol engined models without any ev infrastructure existing as an alternative.
The move has also left open the opportunity to develop non fossil and synthetic fuels for internal combustion engines where a pure electric powertrain would not be efficient or reasonable for purpose.