Almost no new diesel and petrol cars will be allowed to be sold in the European Union from 2035, the European Parliament decided on Tuesday after adopting the draft law – a "historic text" which will help the EU try to achieve its climate objectives.
New cars and vans sold in Europe may officially no longer emit any CO2 from 2023 – a de facto ban on sales of new petrol, diesel cars and light commercial vehicles in the EU. The climate law also applies to hybrids (petrol-electric). The move is in favour of achieving 100% electric vehicles.
"We have reached a historic agreement, which reconciles the automobile and the climate – two rival brothers, so to speak," said MEP for Greens/EFA Karima Delli, president of the Transport Committee.
In October 2022, negotiators from the European Parliament and the 27 Member States already reached a political agreement on this. Now, that agreement has been translated into a legal text, and Parliament has voted it today with 340 votes in favour and 279 against.
All MEPs for Greens/EFA voted in favour of the text, as did most members of the Socialists & Democrats (S&D), liberals (Renew) and The Left. Most MEPs for Christian Democrats (EPP) and national conservatives (ECR) voted against, as did all 59 MEPs for the far-right ID.
Fit for 55?
An interim goal has also been set: by 2030, passenger cars must emit 55% less, and vans 50%. These goals are part of the Fitfor55 ambitions, which are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Europe by 55% by 2030.
"This regulation encourages the production of zero- and low-emission vehicles. It contains an ambitious revision of the targets for 2030 and a zero-emission target for 2035, which is crucial to reach climate neutrality by 2050," said rapporteur Jan Huitema in a press release.
"These targets create clarity for the car industry and stimulate innovation and investments for car manufacturers. Purchasing and driving zero-emission cars will become cheaper for consumers and a second-hand market will emerge more quickly. It makes sustainable driving accessible to everyone."
- Low-emission cars now account for over one-third of new vehicles in Europe
- EU to ban diesel and petrol cars from 2035
- New electric cars gain popularity, especially for businesses
An exemption to the 2035 ban on diesel and petrol car sales was granted to niche manufacturers or those producing fewer than 10,000 vehicles a year. These (luxury) vehicles will be allowed to have internal combustion engines until 2036 – the "Ferrari amendment," as the clause is more commonly known.
Following the final vote in plenary, the text will still have to be formally endorsed by Council, before being published in the EU Official Journal and enter into force shortly after.