For a moment it seemed that the combustion engine could get an effective suspension in Europe. But lawmakers have voted to stick to the strict emissions reduction target that effectively means the end of ICE vehicles on the continent by 2035.
Members of the European Parliament were asked to vote on an amendment that would require carmakers to reduce emissions by 90 percent by 2035, instead of previously agreeing to 100 percent. Bloomberg reports that lawmakers from the Conservative European People’s Party, and other groups on the right, wanted to cut targets because they were worried about losing their jobs in the automotive sector.
But MPs voted in favor of keeping Europe’s climate targets ahead of jobs, backed a 100 per cent reduction, and effectively signed a combustion engine death warrant. The 2035 target is not yet legislated, but the decision cementes the EU’s position, which will be used in negotiations with EU member states to draft legislation later this year.
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The decision will make it impossible to sell cars with new combustion engines in Europe after 2035, without some miraculous legal changes over the next 10 years. And in another push for automakers, EU MPs also voted against an amendment that would allow them to buy credit for synthetic fuels, a project that some companies had hoped would extend the life of combustion engines.
Many carmakers, including Ford, Mini, Bentley, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo and Volvo, have already promised to sell only electric cars by 2035, and in some cases will meet that target with a few years left. Ford and Volvo signed a petition between 28 companies urging the EU to include 100 percent emissions reduction as law, but not every carmaker was so enthusiastic. Renault has called for the law to be relaxed to help keep hybrid powertrains on the table, and the Italian government has called for exemptions for smaller, exclusive brands such as Ferrari and Lamborghini.