- There will be no more sales of combustion engines in the EU from 2035.
- ACEA calls for a framework for manufacturers.
- Niche manufacturers granted additional years of grace
An agreement has been reached by the European Union to formally ban the sale of new combustion engine cars from 2035.
The deal comes after the plan was first proposed in July 2021, and after the seventh round of European emissions standards, which are believed to be the last of their kind for combustion vehicles.
From 2035 all manufacturers will be banned from registering new combustion engine and hybrid vehicles on the EU’s road network. This means that all fresh sales in Europe will be of battery or fuel cell electric cars.
The decision was reached late last week, with three key stakeholders – the EU’s executive arm, parliament and member states – reaching consensus on the ban.
The resulting reduction in emissions in Europe by 2030 is now expected to be 55% compared to 2021 levels, against the 37.5% reduction previously achieved as part of the Union’s ‘Fit for 55’ plan.
A gentleman’s agreement has been reached for certain manufacturers such as Lamborghini, Ferrari and Bugatti to allow combustion sales of their vehicles for one year longer than volume manufacturers.
How did automakers respond?
While the ban is now written into law, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) is calling for a framework to ease the transition for European carmakers and new car buyers.
“Make no mistake, the European automobile industry is rising to the challenge of delivering these zero-emission cars and vans,” said BMW CEO and ACEA Chairman Oliver Zipse.
“However, we are now looking at the framework conditions, which are necessary to meet this goal, which are reflected in EU policies. These include an abundance of renewable energy, seamless private and public charging. Includes infrastructure networks, and access to raw materials.
When proposed 12 months ago, the ban was considered extreme, so it’s a sign of how quickly the EV industry is moving that manufacturers are now, for the most part, embracing the change.
“European carmakers are already proving they are ready to step up to the plate, with increasingly affordable electric cars coming to market,” said Frans Timmermans, leader of the EU’s Green Deal.
“The speed at which this change has occurred in the last few years is remarkable.”
How will EU regulations affect Australia?
Europe is home to some of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers, including Volkswagen, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
These companies will, understandably, focus on maximizing sales in their home markets. For example, Volkswagen has already committed to producing EVs exclusively in Europe from 2033 before the ban.
But all of these manufacturers have production facilities outside the EU, including South Africa and China, as well as South and North America, which currently produce combustion-powered vehicles.
Australia’s ban on new petrol and diesel cars will come into effect in 2050, 15 years after the EU withdrew. With European manufacturers focusing mainly on R&D to improve EVs, it’s highly likely that Australia will stick with previous-generation combustion engines.
With these two being our biggest sellers, Australia has a long way to go in reducing emissions.
It’s a concern that has previously been described by Minister Chris Bowen at the National EV Summit in August, with emotive phrases such as “the dumping ground of the Third World”.
Australia’s targets to cut emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050, however, effectively match the EU’s ultimate target, following the Albanian Labor government’s federal budget announcement last week.
A detailed roadmap for Australia’s electric future is still underway as part of a consultation announced at the National EV Summit.
With more EVs on the market, and a growing proportion of the Australian car-buying public ready to switch to zero-emission vehicles, it’s likely that a large number of battery-powered vehicles will be on our roads by 2035. will