After years of considerations and reviews, the European Union has now officially passed the controversial law to formally ban the sale of new internal combustion engine-powered vehicles throughout its 27 nations starting from 2035.
In addition to the ban, carmakers selling vehicles in Europe will also be required to cut their new-car carbon dioxide emissions by 55% before 2030 (compared to 2021 levels), while a 100% reduction will be enforced from 2035. The tailpipe emissions targets will encourage carmakers to focus on hybrid and fully-electric vehicles before the full ban commences.
Small volume carmakers with annual production under 10,000 units will be given a little more leeway, with the ban only being enforced one year later in 2036.
However, this does not mean that internal combustion engines are completely outlawed in 2035. Carmakers can continue producing and utilising internal combustion engines in their vehicles, as long as they do not produce any emissions. That means they can only be powered by carbon-neutral fuels, such as hydrogen and synthetic alternatives (commonly known as e-fuels).
Several carmakers have already been investing heavily in alternative fuels, so this will certainly be a welcome addition to the ban. In recent years, Toyota has been experimenting with hydrogen combustion engines, while Porsche’s synthetic fuel plant in Chile have also recently started production.
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The law will still have to go through a couple more stages before being officially enforced, including being formally endorsed by the Council of the EU and be published in the EU Official Journal. However, Reuters notes that the final approval is expected to be given by March.
Ahead of the 2035 deadline, many carmakers have already announced their own timeline to end production of petrol and diesel-powered vehicles. Volvo has set its own deadline at 2030, while automotive giant Volkswagen has also committed to stopping production of ICE vehicles in Europe starting 2033.
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