With the vote of the European Parliament on Wednesday, the "end" of the combustion engine has come a big step closer.

If you want to buy a new car in 2035, you will only find electric cars in car dealerships.

After the usual average service life of 15 years, by 2050 there will be (almost) no combustion engines on European roads.

It is unlikely that the Council of Ministers will change anything.

Henrik Kafsack

Business correspondent in Brussels.

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This will cost the EU a quarter of a million jobs if you offset the reduction in traditional production with the new jobs in the production of batteries and electric drives.

That's tough, but it's a price that the EU has to pay for climate neutrality in case of doubt.

Just like the necessary charging infrastructure has to be built, in which the car industry is also welcome to invest - instead of just always calling for state aid.

Away from technology neutrality

Much more problematic, however, is that the EU is abandoning the approach of technology neutrality with the decision.

It puts everything on the electromobility card.

The industry can stop working on other innovative climate-friendly solutions, for example based on synthetic fuels.

Since the energy-intensive production has so far been very expensive, these may not be a solution for decarbonizing all traffic.

But they would be a fallback position if the expansion of electromobility falters or there is not enough green electricity in Europe to charge the entire fleet.

This could have been prevented by targeted opening clauses or by slightly reducing the CO2 savings target.

Even if the emissions of new cars are reduced by 90 instead of 100 percent from the current 95 grams per kilometer by 2035, this does not call into question the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 - especially since emissions trading is an instrument that precisely targets emissions in traffic to reduce.

A CO2 price for diesel and petrol sets clear investment signals.

Above all, however, it affects the old stock and has consequences for driving behavior.

However, the Greens and Social Democrats in the EU Parliament strictly reject an expansion of emissions trading to include transport, thereby undermining the climate goals much more than if they had shown some flexibility with the combustion engine.

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