On Tuesday, EU member states approved an emissions regulation that will end the sale of new carbon dioxide-emitting cars and vans in 20235. The regulation's goal, which targets new vehicles, is to see a 55 percent CO2 emission reduction for cars with a 50 percent reduction for vans from 2030 to 2034 when compared with 2021 levels of emissions. The new regulation also hopes to see 100 percent emission reductions for new cars and vans from 2035.
Germany, Europe's biggest car market, car manufacturer, and economy, made passing the regulation feasible after it sought and won an exemption for e-fuels. Last week, Germany was granted its request to keep internal combustion engines (ICE) available after 2035 as long as they run on e-fuels. The new emissions agreement will end the sale of new ICE cars and vans after 2035 if they do not run on some type of e-fuel.
The EU released a statement saying, "The regulation contains a reference to e-fuels, whereby following a consultation with stakeholders, the Commission will make a proposal for registering vehicles running exclusively on CO2-neutral fuels, after 2035, in conformity with EU law, outside the scope of the fleet standards, and in conformity with the EU's climate neutrality objective."
In 2026, the European Commission will assess the progress the EU has made toward meeting its emissions goals. At that time, the Commission will decide whether or not the goals need to be reviewed.
"The review will take into account technological developments, including with regard to plug-in hybrid technologies and the importance of a viable and socially equitable transition towards zero emissions," the Council of the EU said.
Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, said, "the EU has taken an important step towards zero-emissions mobility."
"The direction is clear: in 2035 new cars and vans must have zero emissions. It brings a big contribution to climate neutrality by 2050 and is a key part of the #EUGreenDeal," Timmermans concluded.
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