The car, the main mode of transport for Europeans, represents just under 15% of total CO2 emissions in the EU.
Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the EU’s “Green Deal”, Frans Timmermans, welcomed an agreement which “sends a strong signal to industry and consumers: Europe is turning the corner emission-free mobility”.
The approved text, which is based on a Commission proposal in July 2021, plans to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars in Europe to zero from 2035.
This amounts to the de facto cessation of sales of new petrol and diesel cars and light commercial vehicles in the EU on this date, as well as hybrids (petrol-electric), in favor of 100% electric vehicles.
While the car, the main mode of transport for Europeans, represents just under 15% of total CO2 emissions in the EU, the new regulations must contribute to achieving the continent’s climate objectives, in particular carbon neutrality in the EU. horizon 2050.
A first agreement of the European climate package
This is the first agreement on a text of the European climate package (“Fit for 55”) intended to reduce the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990. .
It endorses the CO2 emissions reduction target for 2030 of -55% for new cars and -50% for new vans, compared to 2021.
“This agreement paves the way for a modern and competitive automotive industry in the EU”, welcomed the Czech Minister of Industry, Jozef Sikela, whose country holds the six-monthly Presidency of the Council of the EU, considering that “the deadlines envisaged made the objectives achievable for the manufacturers”.
A derogation is granted to “niche” manufacturers or those producing less than 10,000 vehicles per year, allowing them to be equipped with a combustion engine until 2036. This clause, sometimes called “Ferrari amendment”, will benefit in particular brands luxury.
Consequences for employment
The negotiators agreed to “launch a process to have in 2025, after precise assessment of financial needs, a dedicated Just Transition Fund for employees in the sector”, also indicated Pascal Canfin.
The creation of such a transition fund was called for by Parliament, in particular to remedy the impact on employment.
The automotive industry directly or indirectly employs more than 13 million Europeans, or 7% of the EU job market, according to the European Manufacturers Association (ACEA).
A Commission proposal is also expected in 2023 to help accelerate the decarbonisation of the vehicle fleets of large companies, added Mr Canfin.
Under pressure from several countries including Germany, the text addresses the possibility of a green light in the future for alternative technologies such as synthetic fuels (e-fuels) or rechargeable hybrid engines if these allow achieve the goal of completely eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.
Demand worries builders
To respond to manufacturers worried about insufficient consumer demand for 100% electric, the Commission recommends strongly developing charging stations, so that they are installed “every 60 kilometers”.
Carlos Tavares, managing director of the Stellantis group, born from the merger of PSA and Fiat-Chrysler, also pointed the finger on Thursday at the cost of electric vehicles.