EU: End of the Combustion Engine Decided

by | 14. Feb 2023 - 15:37 | Politics

The EU Parliament today finally voted for an end to the internal combustion engine – with 340 votes in favor to 279 against. The controversial new regulation stipulates that no new cars with gasoline or diesel engines may be registered after 2035. Only electric or hydrogen drives that do not emit greenhouse gases will then be permitted. In an interim step, CO2 emissions from newly registered passenger cars and light commercial vehicles are to be cut by around half by 2030. The EU member states must now give their approval, but this is considered a formality, as is the approval of the parliament.

A possible exemption for e-fuels, synthetic fuels that would allow suitably equipped combustion engines to continue to be driven, had caused controversy in the preceding negotiations. Within the German government, the FDP had advocated this technology-neutral solution. According to the October agreement, the EU Commission is now to examine the proposal.

Massive criticism has come from the FDP members of the liberal parliamentary group as well as the CDU and CSU members of the Christian Democratic EPP group, who voted against the phasing out of internal combustion vehicles in this form. There are fears of a massive loss of jobs. Already, battery cell production often goes to Canada or the U.S., CDU politician Jens Gieseke told Tageschau.

The SPD and the Greens, on the other hand, welcomed the new law. It creates a legally secure framework for automakers and ensures that key competencies such as battery cell production are kept in the EU, said Tiemo Wölken, climate policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group.

Also on Tuesday, the EU Commission will present its proposals for reducing CO2 emissions from trucks and buses and the possible future role of electromobility in this segment.

Photo: iStock/Toa55

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