EU parliament bans sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035

The EU has banned the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2035. From then on, new cars and vans sold in the EU must run on other fuels.

The EU has banned the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2035, from which point all new cars and vans sold in the European Union will run on alternative fuels. The intermediate emissions reduction targets for 2030 have been set at 55 per cent for passenger cars and 50 per cent for vans.

The impact of road transport in the EU 

Road transport alone generates one-fifth of the EU’s CO2 emissions and according to data from the European Environment Agency, the average emissions of new passenger cars registered in Europe amounted to 107.5 grams of CO2 per km (gCO2/km) in 2020.

Who made this decision and why?

This ban was enacted to make the transport sector compliant with the EU goal to be climate neutral by 2050 set out in the European Climate Law. In October 2022, the EU Parliament and nations reached an agreement on a zero-emissions target for new cars and vans in 2035. With 340 votes in favour, 21 abstentions, and 279 votes against, the Parliament approved the ban as part of the “Fit for 55” package.

“This regulation encourages the production of zero- and low-emission vehicles. It contains an ambitious revision of the targets for 2030 and a zero-emission target for 2035, which is crucial to reach climate neutrality by 2050. These targets create clarity for the car industry and stimulate innovation and investments for car manufacturers. Purchasing and driving zero-emission cars will become cheaper for consumers and a second-hand market will emerge more quickly. It makes sustainable driving accessible to everyone,” said Dutch MEP Jan Huitema in a statement. These new regulations haven’t yet been endorsed formally by the Council. Once this happens, they should be published in the EU Official Journal.

What does the ban mean for petrol and diesel car owners?

EU residents will still be able to drive their petrol and diesel-driven cars after 2035, as the ban affects only the new cars and vans sold from that year. People will also be able to acquire fuel for their non-electric vehicles, though the costs connected to car ownership for petrol and diesel-driven cars could increase after 2035.

petrol and diesel car ban
The average emissions of new passenger cars registered in Europe amounted to 107.5 grams of CO2 per km in 2020 (gCO2/km) © Anouk Fotografeert/Unsplash

What does the ban mean for electric cars and charging stations? 

LeasePlan’s Car Cost Index 2022 revealed that the total cost of ownership (TCO) for electric vehicles is now the same or even cheaper than that of petrol or diesel cars in many European countries. The cost of purchasing an EV is still high currently. These recently imposed regulations are meant to promote competition and motivate automakers to invest in EV research which could potentially, in turn, lower the cost of acquisition for customers.

Currently, around 480,000 electric charging points are available to the public in the EU. In October 2022, the EU parliament agreed on its position on the rules regarding the infrastructure needed to make charging stations more accessible across the EU, with MEPs aiming to have a charging station every sixty kilometres.

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