Categories: News

End of thermal cars in 2035: huge turnaround in sight?

Is it possible to still purchase new thermal cars after 2035? As the European elections near, the primary political party is causing uncertainty…

The series on thermal cars in the European Union has certainly sparked a lot of discussion in recent months…

Full transition to electric by 2035

Just to recap, the European Commission has passed a law to prohibit thermal engines in the European Union from 2035. This means that no new cars running on gasoline or diesel will be permitted for sale after this date. As a result of this decision, all car manufacturers – or nearly all – have had to switch to electric! Some have been more proactive (Nissan, Renault, Hyundai), while others have joined the movement (Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Stellantis), and some have been hesitant about this transition (Toyota, Suzuki, Honda, etc.). Nevertheless, the numbers show that electric car sales have significantly increased in recent years in the countries of the Union! In 2023, over 1.5 million battery models will be registered in Europe (+37%): they have surpassed diesel as the third most preferred energy source, and now hold a market share of 14.6% (according to ACEA, the association of European automobile manufacturers). So, is the end really near for thermal cars in Europe? Well, not quite, if we are to believe recent statements from a European political party…

An obsolete ban after all?

The European Political Party (EPP) is the leading political group in the European Parliament, with 176 seats out of 705, far ahead of Renew Europe (102 seats). It appears that they are against the ban on thermal power in 2035! In anticipation of the European elections in June 2024, our colleagues at Euractiv were provided with the initial details of the political program of the EPP, which intends to overturn this ban. “We reject banning policies – such as the ban on combustion engines – and we will also revise this as soon as possible« , could be read in a footnote. This stance is not unexpected: the party has long opposed such a measure, arguing that it could lead to a “Havana” effect. In reference to the Cuban capital, they are concerned that after 2035, a large majority of European drivers will be forced to drive in old thermal cars, unable to afford a (expensive) new electric car. So, is this a genuine policy or just an announcement in anticipation of the elections? We will have to wait to access the final program of the EPP in order to know more.

We should also note that in March 2023, this bill was finally able to be passed after an agreement between Germany and the European Union. Revisiting it now promises a new legal challenge…

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