Brussels writes death penalty for internal combustion engine cars – POLITICO



New cars running on diesel and gasoline may be as young as 14 years old in the European Union, according to new emissions targets being discussed in Brussels.

Three EU officials told POLITICO the European Commission is discussing setting a zero-emission target for vehicles sold beyond 2035 – a huge change from the current trajectory of industry standards which would mark a revolution for European car manufacturers.

The details sparked an immediate reaction from the politically powerful German auto industry, which has been warning of the Commission’s intentions for months.

“This would mean not only the end of the internal combustion engine, but also the end of plug-in hybrids,” said Hildegard Müller, head of the German automotive lobby VDA.

The new rules would be part of an overhaul of the bloc’s car emission reduction standards, as part of the EU’s Green Deal plan to achieve net CO2 emissions by mid-century. The Commission plans to increase the bloc’s 2030 target to impose a 60% reduction in car emissions, compared to the current target of a 37.5% reduction. By 2035, that figure would reach 100%, the three officials said.

If the proposal is incorporated into the final text – which is due to be published on July 14 – then it will be considered by EU countries and the European Parliament. It is likely to be strongly opposed by industry lobbies and countries whose economies depend heavily on traditional car manufacturing.

While many automakers are starting to produce zero-emission electric cars, only Volvo and Volkswagen have strategies in place to go electric by the end of the decade, according to a new study by the NGO. green mobility Transport & Environment. The VW Audi unit would stop selling internal combustion engine (ICE) cars in Europe from 2026.

German rivals VW, Daimler and BMW, are among the least prepared to get rid of the ICE.

Industry said the Commission’s plans would force a swift switch to battery-powered cars, without considering alternatives.

“If you need a new car in 2036, you won’t have a choice,” said Sigrid de Vries, who heads the European components industry lobby CLEPA. “The car will have an electric motor whether it meets the need or not, whether it is affordable or not, or whether there is green energy and the infrastructure to charge it or not.”

Car manufacturers want the EU and member countries to dramatically increase spending on charging points first to make electric cars more attractive.

“It could be too too fast, because we cannot see how the charging infrastructure develops as a result,” said a German car manager of the possible Commission plan.

But with growing concern about climate change, the Commission is being pushed to take radical action.

“By raising emissions standards even further, you make the change so attractive to manufacturers,” Commission Green Deal chief Frans Timmermans said this week. “The consequence of this is that the ICEs will hardly be built anymore. “

Under the Green Deal, transport emissions are expected to fall by 90% by 2050. Sign of changing priorities, the target of 37.5% was not agreed until 2018 after a fight long and relentless.

Cars have a 15-year cycle to take older, dirtier models off the road, which means 2035 is the deadline to end sales in order to meet the 2050 target.

Despite the alarm from car manufacturers, there is still no final Commission proposal on new emission reduction targets and the figures are subject to change before the 14 July publication date.

Commission vice-president in charge of the bloc’s battery alliance, MaroÅ¡ Å efčovič, said in an interview on Thursday that Commission officials were still discussing the final figures.

But he added that battery car sales are growing rapidly, so “something that looks super ambitious for 2025, 2030 and beyond may not be once we see what happens in the market.”

It is clear that there is increasing pressure to get rid of cars powered by fossil fuels.

At last weekend’s G7 summit in Cornwall, British hosts pushed leaders to set a date to end production of gasoline and diesel cars in the 2030s. EU officials did not not confirmed whether Brussels also supported the target at the meeting.

The final G7 communiqué only mentioned a commitment “to accelerate the transition of new sales of diesel and gasoline cars”.

Countries are already starting to move. The UK plans to end the sale of combustion-engine cars by 2030 and include plug-in hybrids by 2035. France has set a phase-out date of 2040, but pressures are emerging. exercised to increase it.

Many cities are also preparing to ban conventional cars from their streets.

This article has been updated to add a report that Audi will stop selling internal combustion engine cars in Europe by 2026.

Karl Mathiesen contributed reporting.


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