Home Business The Twenty-Seven approve the end of thermal engine vehicles in 2035

The Twenty-Seven approve the end of thermal engine vehicles in 2035

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here’s one “great challenge for our automotive industry”. But for the Minister of Ecological Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, the target of “zero emissions” for new cars and vans from 2035 is also ” a necessity “. It is of course on this objective that the 27 European environment ministers meeting in Luxembourg agreed at around 2 a.m. on Wednesday 29 June.

In pain, they managed to tune their violins on a handful of texts from the legislative package Adjustment to the objective 55 (or Fit for 55), which aims to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union (EU) by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

The text, which relates to CO2 emission standards for cars and commercial vehicles, is one of the flagship provisions of this package. France wanted an agreement to be reached – even forceps – on this text in order to be able to brandish it as one more success of the French presidency of the Council of the EU which ends on Thursday evening.

Auto Industry Wrath

When it put its proposal for a regulation on the table almost a year ago, in July 2021, the European Commission bet on a 100% reduction in emissions from light vehicles (cars and vans) by 2035. Clearly, it demanded the end of sales of vehicles with thermal engines. This has not failed to provoke the ire of the European car industry, which has embarked on massive lobbying operations to try to turn the tide. In vain. It is indeed the objective initially proposed which has been retained by the Council of the EU.

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The same goes for the European Parliament (the other co-legislator), where MEPs released their negotiating position on this text in early June. Interinstitutional negotiations – or trilogues – will now begin in order to enable the two institutions to find common ground. The “zero emissions” objective by 2035, shared by all the negotiators, will then be definitively validated.

Adjustments

On the other hand, it is a safe bet that adjustments – even exemptions – to the text will be introduced during this last phase of the talks, the most central. During the long hours of discussion in Luxembourg, during which each State tried to defend its own interests (Germany in the lead, since the automotive sector occupies a very important place in the country’s economy), the Twenty-Seven thus accepted a possible green light in the future for alternative technologies, such as synthetic fuels or plug-in hybrid engines “on one condition: that cars do not emit greenhouse gases”said Agnès Pannier-Runacher during a press conference in the middle of the night.

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The Council also decided to raise the targets for reducing emissions by 2030 to 55% for cars and 50% for vans. But exemptions to the rules for smaller manufacturers – often luxury brands – should survive the trialogue phase. This “Ferrari amendment” – as it was nicknamed by European negotiators – was also foreseen by Parliament. “For niche manufacturers, I would point out that their exemption expires at the end of 2035”, added the Minister of Ecological Transition. Even if it cannot, for the time being, predict the outcome of the negotiations between the Parliament and the Council.

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