Will America be next?
The fears of traditional gearheads appear to be happening, though the big change is still several years away. According to a report from Bloomberg, the European Union is expected to propose for all new passenger vehicles sold from 2035 to be zero-emissions only. Translation: pure battery electric vehicles only in 14 years' time.
The continent that gave birth to driving icons like the Porsche 911 and BMW 3 Series sees the overhaul as part of a larger effort to curtail greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, and the changes will be done gradually. The European Commission regulatory body wants emissions from new vehicles, including vans, to decrease by 65 percent by 2030 before dropping to zero five years later. At the same time, these new anti-pollution laws will force EU block countries to increase their respective national charging infrastructures.
Presently, the fleet-wide emissions targets require a 37.5 percent emissions reduction for cars by 2030. These passenger cars currently make up around 12 percent of total EU C02 emissions. The EU's upcoming new rule should not come as much of a surprise, especially to automakers. Legacy brands like General Motors and Ford have already committed to electrified futures, though the Blue Oval has only done so for Europe at this time.
European automakers like the Volkswagen Group, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz are not expected to fight the new legislation, but will rather embrace it. VW in particular will be fully on board. The complete package proposal is expected to be announced this Wednesday, July 14, though we first got wind of it last month.
It will also set a new target of increasing renewable energy from the existing 32 percent to 40 percent by the end of the decade. Those still concerned about range anxiety will be relieved to hear the new proposal will further require there to be electric charging stations installed every 37 miles on major highways. Hydrogen refueling stations will also be a requirement every 93 miles.
Is it possible the EU's new requirements could serve as a blueprint for future American emissions reduction plans? Anything is possible but we doubt the US will take such a drastic approach by 2035. Then again, GM aims to be EV-only by that year, too. Bear that in mind.