EU approves end of combustion engine sales by 2035

The European Union has approved a plan to end the sale of vehicles with combustion engines by 2035 in Europe, the 27-member bloc announced in a bid to reduce CO2 emissions to zero.

The measure, first proposed a year ago, will effectively halt sales of petrol and diesel cars as well as light commercial vehicles and facilitate a complete shift to electric engines in the European Union from 2035.

The plan is intended to help achieve the continent’s climate objectives, in particular carbon neutrality by 2050.

At the request of countries including Germany and Italy, the EU-27 also agreed to consider a future green light for the use of alternative technologies such as synthetic fuels or plug-in hybrids.

While approval would be tied to achieving the complete elimination of greenhouse gas emissions, the technologies have been challenged by environmental NGOs.

Environment ministers meeting in Luxembourg also approved a five-year extension of the exemption from CO2 obligations granted to so-called “niche” manufacturers, or those producing fewer than 10,000 vehicles per year, until the end of 2035. The clause will benefit luxury brands in particular.

These measures must now be negotiated with members of the European Parliament.