One step closer to banning thermal cars in 2035

With 46 votes for, 40 against and 2 abstentions, the Environment Committee of the European Parliament has just approved the end of thermal vehicles for 2035.

In July 2021, the European Commission proposed a 100% reduction target for CO2 emissions from new vehicles. This approach is part of a larger set of measures to combat climate change.

Although several car manufacturers have spoken out against this obligation and its timetable, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety has decided otherwise.

The priority for the commission is really to achieve zero-emission road mobility by 2035. By accelerating the transition to electric vehicles, the European Union wants to tackle pollution in the transport sector. Polluting emissions that have increased too much in recent years, and on which we must act quickly.

A fairly divided vote in committee

The results of the vote show that MEPs remain quite divided on the issue. The “for” won with 46 votes, while the “against” still represent 40 MEPs. With a difference of 6 votes, we are far from a plebiscite within the environment commission itself.

Neither the legislators who had asked to accelerate the constraints, nor those who wanted to attenuate the objectives, won their case. The purpose remains a ban on thermal vehicles by 2035.

Next step: the plenary

The bill will be submitted to the vote of the entire European Parliament at the beginning of June. If the plenary vote is in favor of the proposal, lawmakers and EU countries will then have to negotiate the final rules to accommodate the 27 countries of the European Union.

Manufacturers worried, but prepared for this eventuality

The automotive industry has mobilized to obtain adjustments in this bill. Manufacturers do not want to see the thermal and hybrid engine completely disappear in such a short time.

At the same time, a large part of the automotive groups have actively worked on strategic plans to be ready for the 2035 deadline, or even earlier, for certain brands.

Upcoming Lexus electric range // Source: Lexus
Upcoming Lexus electric range // Source: Lexus

The deadline may be seen as far too long for climate change advocates, but for the auto industry, these deadlines are very short and raise many fears among captains of industry.

The automotive industry will be definitively fixed on its fate in a few weeks, when the proposal passes through the plenary of the European Parliament.

Leave a Comment