The sale of new gasoline and diesel cars and vans will be banned in the European Union from 2035 after the European Parliament formally approved a law aimed at accelerating the switch to EVs and combating climate change.
According to the landmark rules voted today, carmakers will have to achieve a 100 percent cut in CO2 emissions from new cars and vans sold by 2035. This would effectively make it impossible to sell new internal combustion engine-powered vehicles in the EU from that date.
In addition, the law will also set a 55 percent cut in CO2 emissions for new cars sold from 2030 versus 2021 levels, which is much higher than the existing target of 37.5 percent. The intermediate emissions reduction target is 50 percent for vans.
The law, which is in line with the European Union’s increased climate ambition, received 340 votes in favor, 279 against and 21 abstentions.
While the 27 member states agreed the deal with lawmakers last October, they still need to formally approve the new rules before they can take effect; final approval is expected in March.
Jan Huitema, the European Parliament’s lead negotiator on the rules, said this regulation encourages the production of zero- and low-emission vehicles, adding that it is essential to bring more affordable electric vehicles to consumers.
“The operating costs of an electric vehicle are already lower than the operating costs of a vehicle with an internal combustion engine,” Huitema was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The final version of the EU law includes some leeway for small carmakers making less than 10,000 cars or 22,000 vans per year, allowing them to negotiate weaker targets until 2036. Low-volume manufacturers registering fewer than 1,000 new vehicles per year will continue to be exempt.
The new law is part of a broader “Fit for 55” package of tougher EU climate policies, designed to slash greenhouse gas emissions this decade.
Many carmakers in Europe have announced investments in electrification, including Volkswagen, the region’s biggest. CEO Thomas Schaefer said last year that from 2033 the brand will only make electric cars in Europe.
Other brands that have pledged to sell only all-electric vehicles in Europe include Jaguar (from 2025), Fiat (2027), Opel (2028), Ford (2030), Peugeot (2030), Renault (2030), Volvo Cars (2030), Mercedes-Benz (2031), Audi (2033), Bentley (2030), and Rolls-Royce (end of 2030).