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EU approves law banning sales of new petrol, diesel cars from 2035


New cars must achieve 55% emission savings by 2030, 100% by 2035

Late amendment will allow sale of ICE vehicles that run on e-fuels after 2035

  • Author
  • Euan Sadden
  • Editor
  • Jonathan Loades-Carter
  • Commodity
  • Electric Power Energy Transition Oil

European member states have formally approved a new law requiring that all new car and vans sold in Europe must be zero-emission by 2035 after the European Council voted to adopt the proposal March 28.

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Under the regulation, new cars sold in the EU must achieve 55% emission reductions from 2030-34 compared to 2021, while vans must achieve a 50% reduction.

From 2035, all cars and vans sold in the EU must have 100% emission reductions.

The regulation passed in the Council with only Poland voting against it, while Bulgaria, Italy and Romania abstained.

A late amendment put forward by Germany and supported by countries including Italy will allow the sale of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that run on e-fuels or net zero fuels after 2035.

E-fuels are synthetic fuels processed from hydrogen and are considered net zero emissions if produced using energy derived from renewable sources such as solar or wind power.

The regulation will now be published in the EU's Official Journal and enter into force.

Most European car manufacturers have already accepted the ICE ban and have made large scale investments in ramping up their electric vehicle production capacity.

The proposal to revise the CO2 emissions performance standards for cars and vans is part of the 'Fit for 55' package. Presented by the European Commission July 14, 2021, the package of legislation is designed to help the EU reduce its net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and to achieve climate neutrality in 2050.

The agreement was welcomed by the European Commission following the adoption of the law by the European Council

"This agreement marks the first step in the adoption of the 'Fit for 55' legislative proposals tabled by the Commission in July 2021, and demonstrates ahead of COP27 the EU's domestic implementation of its international climate commitments," it said.

"The agreement sends a strong signal to industry and consumers: Europe is embracing the shift to zero-emission mobility. European carmakers are already proving they are ready to step up to the plate, with increasing and increasingly affordable electric cars coming to the market," said Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmerman.