Yesterday , the plenary session of the European Parliament

gave its go-ahead so that from 2035 all new cars and vans marketed in the EU are "zero emissions",

which in practice will mean a ban on marketing combustion vehicles, including gasoline, diesel and hybrids.

Why is this measure taken?

The initiative draws on an original proposal from the European Commission and

is the first of the package called Fit for 55 that aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% by the year 2030.

Already in autumn of last year an agreement was reached on this line by the negotiators of the European Council (the Member States of the EU), the European Parliament and the European Commission.

For it to be definitively adopted, it only remains for the 27 countries that make up the EU to give it their go-ahead, a matter that is considered a formal procedure.

Was it a unanimous decision?

No, the agreement went ahead with 340 votes in favor, 279 against, and 21 abstentions.

The current government of Pedro Sánchez has always been a supporter of this initiative and this was defended yesterday by the PSOE MEP and vice-president of the Environment committee of the European Parliament, César Luena.

On the other hand, from the PPE (European People's Party) they pointed out that it will mean new "more expensive" cars, the loss of "thousands of jobs" and will lead the European industry to "decline"


"Europe is leading its automobile industry towards a dead end", he has riveted himself.

The ban, what scope does it have?

It only refers to

the sale of new cars that emit CO2, but not to their use, since they will be able to continue to circulate until the year 2050.

Therefore, it should not affect the used vehicle market from that date either.

Also, although there is talk of combustion cars,

if in the future the industry develops zero-emission fuels, these vehicles could be sold.

It was recognized yesterday by the vice president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, who said that it supposes a "perfect balance between the interests of the industry, the climate and the workers".

In addition, he recalled that if the industry "can build internal combustion engines with zero emissions, then perfect.

Although now everyone is betting on electrification.

Are there any exceptions?

An exception is made for

niche manufacturers making fewer than 10,000 cars a year, which will be granted a one-year moratorium.

And those who manufacture less than 1,000 a year will be exempt from complying with it.

Have other objectives been approved?

Yes, in its vote yesterday, the European Parliament endorsed the

intermediate objectives so that, by 2030, passenger cars reduce their CO2 emissions by 55%;

and the vans will have to do it by 50%.

In addition, the new text also readjusts the percentage of sales of vehicles with low or zero emissions that the EU requires manufacturers to qualify for financial incentives from the Commission.

Between 2025 and 2029, it will be necessary to sell 25% of passenger cars of this type of the total to continue collecting these rewards, while, with regard to vans, the proportion will be 17%.

As of 2030, the new regulation provides for the suppression of these aids.

Will there be any kind of follow-up?

Yes, the agreement adopted obliges the design of

a system for the real monitoring of emissions during the useful life of the automobiles.

It should be developed in 2025.

In addition, since that year Brussels is obliged to carry out a biannual report to assess whether progress is being made at the right pace and the impact of the reform on consumers and employment.

Is it a realistic measure and can it be met?

If we look at the Spanish case, it would be complicated given the current figures.

100% electric cars (plug-in hybrids would be prohibited) are up to 30% more expensive than conventional cars and, despite public aid for purchases, last year they barely accounted for 4% of total sales in the country.

But it is a question at the level of the entire EU, where the penetration of this type of vehicle is, on average, much higher than in the Spanish case.

In fact, the employers' association of ACEA manufacturers has requested that, in order to make it feasible, measures that favor electrification be expedited;

and CO2 neutral fuels are considered.

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  • motor industry

  • Electric cars