European lawmakers have gotten the EU's 27 member states to agree to a plan that effectively bans the sale of gas-powered cars and vans by 2035. They've come to an agreement to approve the Commission's revised reduction targets for passenger cars' and light vehicles' carbon dioxide emissions. The Commission's proposal, which European lawmakers had voted in favor of back in June, aims to reduce the emissions produced by new vehicles in those categories by 100 percent in 13 years' time. That wouldn't be achievable without stopping the sale of gas-powered vehicles and selling zero-emission models only.
European Parliament's lead negotiator Jan Huitema said:
"[P]urchasing and driving zero-emission cars will become cheaper for consumers. I am pleased that today we reached an agreement with the Council on an ambitious revision of the targets for 2030 and supported a 100% target for 2035. This is crucial to reach climate neutrality by 2050 and make clean driving more affordable."
Under the deal, new cars from 2030 must also comply with a 55 percent cut on carbon dioxide emissions compared to 2021 levels. Vans must comply with a 50 percent cut. In addition, the agreement states that existing EU funding should be spent on transitioning to zero-emission vehicles and related technologies going forward. The Commission also vows to publish a report every two years detailing the region's progress towards zero-emission road mobility starting in 2025.
The European Parliament and Council will still have to approve the agreement before it becomes official, and changes could be introduced before then. According to Reuters, the EU intends to draft a proposal on how to sell cars running on carbon dioxide-neutral fuels after 2035. That said, automakers have been preparing for the shift to zero-emission vehicles for a while now, as governments around the world adopt laws to combat climate change. The list of carmakers pledging to go fully electric over the coming years continue to grow: Ford, for instance, announced last year that its consumer vehicles will be fully electric by 2030, while GM aims to eliminate emissions from all its new "light-duty vehicles" by 2035.