It should be over from 2035: the EU Parliament votes to ban combustion engines

Off for petrol and diesel
It should be over from 2035: the EU Parliament votes to ban combustion engines

Exhaust fumes are visible escaping from a car exhaust

Exhaust gases from a car exhaust: The EU Parliament wants to ban new cars with combustion engines from 2035.

© Marijan Murat / DPA

The EU Parliament heralds the end of the combustion engine. From 2035, only new cars that no longer emit harmful greenhouse gases should be sold. The decision is now being discussed with the EU countries.

In the fight for more climate protection, the EU Parliament wants to ban the sale of new cars with combustion engines from 2035. A majority of MEPs voted in Strasbourg on Wednesday that from the middle of the next decade manufacturers will only be allowed to bring cars and vans onto the market that do not emit any greenhouse gases that are harmful to the climate. Before such a regulation can come into force, Parliament still has to negotiate with the EU states.

At the end of the month, the EU states want to define their position on the ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars. Then the two EU institutions still have to find a compromise so that it can come into force.

Mercedes and Ford for phase-out year 2035

Germany has already committed to the exit date of 2035. Environment Minister Steffi Lemke (Greens) said in Brussels in March on behalf of the federal government that the goal of ending the use of combustion engines in cars and vans by 2035 was supported. At the world climate conference in Glasgow in November, several major car manufacturers, including Mercedes and Ford, called for a sales ban on combustion engines in the leading markets from 2035.

After the vote, German Greens MP Michael Bloss said on Wednesday: “We have decided in favor of the future of Europe as an automotive location.” In the future, the best electric cars and the latest batteries would come from Europe.

CDU criticizes no to synthetic fuels for cars

MEPs also advocated that no climate-friendly synthetic fuels can be counted. With these, a classic combustion engine could be operated in a climate-neutral manner. However, critics fear that there are already too few of these for aviation and shipping, which are less easy to operate electrically than cars or vans.

Criticism came from the CDU. “Unfortunately, the Greens, Liberals and Social Democrats prefer to put everything on the electric mobility card,” said CDU MEP Jens Gieseke. In his own words, he fears for Europe’s competitiveness and numerous jobs. But he conceded: “The ban on combustion engines in 2035 will probably no longer be preventable.”

The draft law is part of the EU’s “Fit for 55” climate package, which aims to reduce harmful emissions by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

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