The European Union on Thursday reached a deal for a ban on the sale of new passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles powered by gas and diesel engines, including hybrids, by the year 2035.
The target to reduce carbon dioxide from vehicles 100% by 2035, which forms part of an overarching plan for the E.U. to become climate neutral by 2050, was first made by the European Commission in 2021.
It then received support from the European Parliament following a vote held in June edging closer to banning the sale of internal-combustion cars by 2035. On Thursday the proposal received provisional approval by the European Council, which is composed of the heads of state or government of the E.U. member states, meaning it will now be passed into law.
The target calls for 55% less CO2 emissions from new passenger vehicles by 2030 versus 2021 levels as an interim goal, and eventually 100% by 2035. For vans, it will be a 50% reduction by 2030 and 100% by 2035.
Unlike similar plans in California and New York state, which classify certain plug-in hybrids as zero-emission vehicles, the E.U.’s target pushes for fully electric vehicles including battery and fuel-cell vehicles.
However, there’s potentially still some life left in the E.U. for the internal-combustion engine in light vehicles. Automakers producing fewer than 10,000 vehicles per year will be able to negotiate weaker targets until having to meet the 100% target by 2036. And any automakers producing fewer than 1,000 vehicles per year may be exempt altogether.
The E.U. in 2026 also plans to assess the progress of automakers and operators of charging networks toward achieving the 100% carbon dioxide reduction target and the potential need to review the target.
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