EU ministers pass 2035 car engine ban law
Backroom deal between Commission and Germany paves way for deal.
EU ministers on Tuesday formally — and finally — signed off on legislation phasing out sales of new polluting cars and vans by 2035, ending last-minute resistance from Germany and a small group of allies.
The price for Tuesday’s agreement was a backroom deal last week between the European Commission and Berlin that will see extra technical legislation published later setting out a workaround for e-fuels — a synthetic greener alternative to gasoline that does emit CO2 from the tailpipe.
However, such a loophole will still have to be approved by the EU institutions. A Commission pledge to revise its CO2 emission standards if the technical fix is rejected will also be dependent on approval by the European Parliament and member countries.
The 2035 rules are a critical part of the EU’s Fit for 55 package of green legislation, aimed at addressing rising road transport emissions.
In addition to setting the 2035 clean car target, the legislation raises the interim 2030 emissions reduction target, which will force automakers to ramp up the sale of electric vehicles over the coming few years.
Separate legislation covering emissions from trucks, coaches and buses has been proposed, while a sprawling package of rules covering all non-CO2 vehicle pollutants under the Euro 7 standards is also being discussed.
The car CO2 law now only needs to be published in the EU’s official journal before entering into force in the coming weeks.