It could be the end of cars as we know them in Europe.
The European Parliament's environmental committee has backed a plan by the European Union that will effectively ban all new gasoline and diesel cars from being sold by 2035. Back in June 2021, we reported that the EU's "Fit for 55" plan would kill internal combustion engines in Europe before 2050. Now it looks like the EU was right, and they'll be dead long before that.
Cars like the Volkswagen ID. 4 and Mercedes-Benz EQS might soon be the only kinds of cars you can buy in Europe, and this recent move has brought that closer to reality than ever. However, there are still a few steps left before that does in fact become a reality for Europeans.
While the committee supported the proposal for a 100% cut in C02 emissions by 2035, it also voted against proposals for a more middling, tougher target for car C02 emissions by 2030. In effect, what that means is that the committee is not in favor of a half-measure. Instead, it's set on killing the combustion engine in Europe for good. That 2035 date didn't come from nowhere either.
Back in July 2021, the committee said it found new cars stayed on the roads for 10-15 years on average, which made 2035 the latest date that the sales of ICE cars could stop in order to avoid compromising the EU's plan for net-zero emissions by 2050. Several other options were presented, including a plan to ease the current zero by 2035 goal, as well as one that would have increased the goal to a 55% cut in car emissions by 2030. Clearly, the committee feels it has found solid ground with its current proposal and plans to stick by it.
"With CO2 standards, we create clarity for the car industry and stimulate innovation and investments for car manufacturers," said Jan Huitema, the lead lawmaker for the proposed policy.
Soon, the European Parliament will vote on these new emissions proposals, at which point lawmakers and countries in the EU must decide on the final regulatory changes. But the policy also leaves us with some lingering questions.
Obviously, the stop-sale of new ICE cars will mean the end of modern gas cars in Europe. What will become of older models is still an ongoing debate. Our question is what will happen to all those incredible enthusiast cars in Europe? Will there be a special exemption, like the Classic Car registration here in the US? Or will the ban be all-encompassing? Either way, it'll have serious ramifications for the automotive market once European lawmakers finalize their plans.