EU Parliament ban on combustion engines

As of 2035 no more new cars or vans with combustion engines are to be sold in the EU. The EU Parliament voted for a ban on such vehicles from that year on. The new regulation has yet to be confirmed by the EU Commission and member states.

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taz, die tageszeitung (DE) /

EU lagging behind developments

For the taz the move doesn't go far enough:

“Europe's largest carmaker, Volkswagen, made the decision to stop producing combustion engine cars for the EU market by that date long ago, while others are phasing them out much earlier. By setting the deadline for 2035, the European Parliament has refrained from accelerating this process which began some time ago. Cars have an average lifespan of 15 years, and some run for much longer. So the registration ban on new combustion engine vehicles doesn't mean the end for diesel and petrol-driven cars. If the EU were to enact the ban earlier than 2035, it would inject more momentum into the transformation process. But as things stand now it is simply lagging behind developments.”

Lidové noviny (CZ) /

Some things happen automatically

There are reasons why only four of the Czech Republic's 21 MEPs voted in favour of phasing out the internal combustion engine, Lidové noviny comments:

“Although we [Czechs] don't go around chanting environmental slogans, we're not anti-environmentalists either. We're just less well-off than the rich Western Europeans and can't imagine poorer people being deprived of the possibilities of private transport. ... Let's look at this from the technology perspective. In 1996 it would have been inconceivable for someone to decree that everyone must have a mobile phone by 2010. The fact is, however, that by then for every 100 inhabitants there were 138 SIM cards on average. All without any acts of parliament.”

Le Monde (FR) /

Electric cars not a ready-made solution

Electric cars also pose challenges for Europe, Le Monde warns:

“If it wants to remain independent, Europe will also have to move quicker to localise battery production once electric cars become standard. To minimise the environmental impact, we'll need to produce more low-emission energy than we do today. Already the rise in the number of electric cars is leading to higher raw material prices. These will make production more expensive and create dependencies that the EU will have to overcome. In addition, the question of battery recycling needs to be clarified.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

A far-reaching wake-up call

Finally a step in the right direction, La Repubblica comments with approval:

“Yesterday's vote in the Parliament was a wake-up call that cannot be ignored. And it confirms that the Green Deal announced by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen when she took office remains the strategic compass for Europe's path into the future. An end to cars with combustion engines is an inevitable step on the path to the third industrial revolution that we have now launched. Everyone, from car manufacturers to national governments, from oil companies to electricity suppliers who need to build a tight-knit supply network, would do well to rethink their strategies.”

Salzburger Nachrichten (AT) /

For the planet and against Putin

We will still be driving cars in 2035 - but electric ones, according to the Salzburger Nachrichten:

“The next big challenge is to create the necessary infrastructure for charging stations. Negotiations are already underway in Brussels. Shifting social and economic life away from fossil fuels and towards climate neutrality is a process. ... All in all, however, the energy transition can no longer be stopped. Russia's war of aggression on Ukraine has actually strengthened the resolve to do this. Europeans want to free themselves from their dependence - on oil and gas, as well as on despots. Even if this means that they have to completely rethink and redesign the mass product that is cars.”