LONDON, July 14 (Reuters) – The European Union on Wednesday proposed an effective ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035, aiming to speed up the switch to zero-emission electric vehicles (EVs) as part of a broad package of measures to combat global warming.
The EU executive, the European Commission, proposed a 55% cut in CO2 emissions from cars by 2030 versus 2021 levels, much higher than the existing target of a 37.5% reduction by then.
It also proposed a 100% cut in CO2 emissions by 2035, which would make it impossible to sell new fossil fuel-powered vehicles in the 27-country bloc.
“This is the sort of ambition we’ve been waiting to see from the EU, where it’s been lacking in recent years,” said Helen Clarkson, chief executive of the Climate Group, a non-profit group that works with business and government to tackle climate change.
European car industry association ACEA, however, said banning a specific technology was not a rational way forward, adding that internal combustion engines, hybrids, battery electric and hydrogen vehicles needed to play a role in the transition.
To boost sales EV sales, Brussels also proposed legislation that would require countries to install public charging points no more than 60 kilometres (37.3 miles) apart on major roads by 2025.
It foresees 3.5 million public charging stations for cars and vans by 2030, rising to 16.3 million by 2050.
Even when buyers have been able to afford the price premium for a part- or all-electric vehicle, many have been deterred by “range anxiety” because of a lack of public charging stations.
Carmakers had signalled they would only accept tougher emissions targets in return for massive public investment in chargers.
IHS Markit said in a report on Tuesday that if the EU raised its CO2 emission reduction targets to 50% by 2030, it would bring new fossil-fuel car sales across the bloc down to virtually zero by then.
“It is clear that if these stretch goals are implemented as solid proposals to be voted into legislation, that carmakers that have been bolder and invested heavily earlier on in electrification will have a significant advantage,” IHS said.
The Commission’s proposals will need to be negotiated and approved by EU member states and the European Parliament, which could take around two years.
Full electrification is a long way off, however.
Many carmakers have announced investments in electrification, partly in anticipation of tougher EU emissions targets.
Consultancy AlixPartners estimates carmakers and suppliers globally will invest $330 billion in electrification from 2021-2025, up 41% from its estimate of $250 billion for 2020-2024.
Brussels also proposed allowing plug-in hybrids to count as low-emission vehicles up to 2030.
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