17 May 22

Major fleets, Ford and Volvo call for ICE ban in 2035

Leading fleets, Ford and Volvo have written to the European parliament and European governments today [17 May] calling for a ban on the sale of all new cars and vans with internal combustion engines from 2035.

An Post, Uber, Tesco, Currys, Unilever, Sanofi, SAP and Zurich, as well as LeasePlan, say legislation is required to reinforce the voluntary commitments by 15 vehicle manufacturers to produce only zero emission vehicles from 2035.

Cars and light commercial vehicles are responsible for 15% of Europe’s carbon dioxide emissions and are the continent’s largest source of nitrogen dioxide pollution, too.

New law in June?

EU decision-makers are currently deciding on new clean car rules, following a proposal by the EU Commission that only zero-emission new cars and vans can be sold EU-wide from 2035. The European Parliament and EU governments will decide their positions in June, with the final law expected to be adopted in autumn.

The coalition of 27 companies that wrote the joint letter to the EU said: “To enable all cars and vans on the road to reach zero emissions by 2050, the last car with any combustion engine, including hybrids, should be sold no later than 2035. Over a dozen car brands have voluntarily pledged to only sell electric cars in Europe in the next decade. We need European decision-makers to recognise this ambition but ensure laggards don’t delay the market shift.”

Last year, 20% of cars sold across the EU had a plug, although the figure was significantly lower for light commercial vehicles.

Ford's EV advance

Stuart Rowley, Chair of Ford Europe, said: “We are targeting all Ford vehicles to be zero emission by 2035 in line with this call, the COP26 RouteZero initiative and with our Paris Climate commitment.”

Ford plans to launch seven all-electric cars and vans by 2024, and its BlueOval Charging Network has over 300,000 charge points in Europe.

“EU policymakers must also establish mandatory national targets for a seamless electric charging infrastructure that lives up to the growing demand for electric vehicles, and will empower European consumers and businesses to take full advantage of living in a digital world,” said Rowley. 

Volvo zero emission by 2030

Volvo Cars plans to build only electric cars by 2030, five years earlier than the proposed ban.

Jim Rowan, CEO of Volvo Cars, said: “The window for us to avoid the worst impacts of global warming is rapidly closing. At this critical moment, now is the time for the EU to reaffirm its leadership in climate action.”

EV charging

An outright ban on the sale of new vehicles with combustion engines will also require government support for faster and better roll-out of both public and private charging infrastructure, including “ambitious mandatory targets on public charging,” said the coalition companies.

They also want to see “smart tax incentives for companies and individuals and targeted investments into green supply chains.”

The environmental campaign group Transport & Environment, said there were strategic as well as green benefits from committing to a ban on combustion engine cars, which are responsible for about a third of all oil imports into Europe.

“Switching to fossil free road transport would enhance the continent’s energy security and cut the billions of euros it sends abroad for oil every year,” it said.

Authored by: Jonathan Manning