9 Jun 22

OEMs alarmed at European Parliament's 2035 ban on ICE vehicles

Vehicle manufacturers have reacted with concern at a vote in the European Parliament yesterday [8 June] to impose a ban on the sale of cars and vans with internal combustion engines from 2035.

ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, said setting in stone a 100% reduction in emissions by the middle of the next decade depended on external factors beyond the control of OEMs.

Oliver Zipse, ACEA President and CEO of BMW, said: “Given the volatility and uncertainty we are experiencing globally day-by-day, any long-term regulation going beyond this decade is premature at this early stage. Instead, a transparent review is needed halfway in order to define post-2030 targets.”

Infrastructure review

This review would have to consider whether the deployment of charging infrastructure across European Union member states and the availability of raw materials for electric vehicle battery production, were sufficient to meet the steep ramp-up in demand for EVs, added Zipse.

Martin Sander general manager, Passenger Vehicles, Ford of Europe, said: "Ford in Europe in May joined an industry petition to ensure all new cars and vans in Europe are zero emission from 2035. It´s the right thing to do. But we now urgently also need targets to grow the electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Europe."

ACEA members are committed to the goal of a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050, a deadline beyond the expectations of the European Commission and Parliament.


Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the EC, said: “To reach climate neutrality by 2050, nearly all cars on Europe's roads need to be zero emission by then. If you look at the average lifetime of cars, 2035 is a good date for when all new car sales must be zero emission.”

This leaves fleets with less than three replacement cycles to establish an effective strategy for operating EVs, and even less time in some markets – Norway will ban the sale of ICE vehicles from 2025 and the UK from 2030.

READ: fleets have greater certainty over 2035 ban on ICE cars and vans

A 2035 deadline has already been adopted by the majority of car makers, although some are keener to move faster, committing to sell only electric cars by 2030 or even 2028 in the case of Opel (part of the Stellantis group).

MEPs also voted yesterday for intermediate emissions reduction targets of 55% for cars and 50% for vans by 2030, compared to 2021 levels, an acceleration of their original 37.5% reduction target, and are now ready to start negotiations with individual EU member states to introduce legislation that would make these targets binding. 

Jan Huitema MEP said: 'An ambitious revision of CO2-standards is a crucial part of reaching our climate targets. With these standards, we are creating clarity for the car industry and can stimulate innovation and investments for car manufacturers. In addition, purchasing and driving zero-emission cars will become cheaper for consumers.”

Climate campaign Transport & Environment described the vote by MEPs as a: "Huge step forward for climate action, air quality and the affordability of electric vehicles," while mobility expert Lukas Neckermann tweeted: "Market superiority and TCO already make EVs the better choice for 90-95% of car and van buyers. But at least Europe has given clarity to OEMs."

Wholelife emissions

The European Parliament has also voted in favour of a Commission proposal to establish a common EU methodology, by 2023, for assessing the full life cycle of CO2 emissions of cars and vans , as well as for the fuels and energy consumed by these vehicles. This would allow environmentally-focused fleets to take into account the CO2 emissions generated during the production of a vehicle when making purchasing decisions.

Authored by: Jonathan Manning