By a unanimous vote on Tuesday, the European Parliament imposed a 2035 sales ban on all new fossil fuel-powered cars and light trucks.
As a result of California and New York, among other U.S. states, mandating a switch to electric vehicles (EVs), the European Union will soon be one of the major car markets.
According to Karima Dellis, chair of the transport committee, “Today’s vote is a historic vote for the ecological transition… it is a win for our planet and our populations.
The vote on Tuesday ratifies a deal that the European Parliament and European Council struck in October 2022 as part of the Fit for 55 goals to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030. The EU’s objective of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 is being advanced by the 2030 target. The text will still need to be formally endorsed by the council, likely in March, according to the European Parliament and Reuters.
According to a news statement from the European Parliament, the bill also stipulates that new vehicles sold in the EU must lower their emissions to 55% of 2021 levels by 2030 and vans must do the same by the same year.
According to the report’s Dutch MEP and rapporteur Jan Huitema, these goals bring clarity to the automotive sector and encourage investment and innovation among automakers. Consumers will be able to drive and buy zero-emission vehicles for less money, and a second-hand market will develop more swiftly. It enables everyone to drive more sustainably.
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The vote was 340 to 279 in favor with 21 against. Advocates stress the significance of taking action to cut emissions in order to mitigate the worst effects of the climate catastrophe and to maintain the EU’s competitiveness while the global car industry transitions to electrification.
As reported by AFP, EU vice president Frans Timmermans said to MEPs, “Let me remind you that between last year and the end of this year, China will deliver 80 models of electric automobiles to the international market.” These automobiles are excellent. We must contend with these autos as they become more and more affordable. We don’t want to cede control of this crucial sector to foreigners.
On the other hand, some MEPs expressed worry that a hasty transition away from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles might endanger auto industry workers.
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ICE production employs 600,000 people in Germany, and according to MEP Jens Gieseke of the center-right European People’s Party, their jobs are in danger.
According to The New York Times, Ford Motor did say on Tuesday that it would decrease its staff in Europe by about 11% over the following several years as it refocuses its company on electric vehicles (EVs). Major European automakers have, however, joined the EV bandwagon.
According to Reuters, VW CEO Thomas Schaefer declared in 2022 that his business would only produce EVs in Europe beginning in 2033. The final measure did allow automakers producing less than 10,000 vehicles yearly to bargain for weaker emissions reduction targets through 2036 as a result of some industry criticism.
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Larger vehicles like trucks and buses are not covered by the new regulation, but the European Commission on Tuesday also proposed new standards for cutting emissions from these vehicles, according to AFP. The proposal states:
- City buses would be emission-free by 2030.
- New trucks would curb emissions by 45 percent of 2019 levels by 2030.
- New trucks would curb emissions by 65 percent of 2019 levels by 2035.
- New trucks would curb emissions by 90 percent of 2019 levels by 2040.