All new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles registered in the EU will be required to be zero emissions by 2035, according to proposed rules endorsed today by the European Parliament in a 340 to 279 vote, with 21 abstentions.
The approval in Parliament marks a major step towards the adoption of legislation updating CO2 emission performance standards for new cars and vans, and setting a roadmap towards the zero emissions goal. The legislation will now proceed to formal adoption in the EU Council.
The legislation forms one of the key aspects of the European Commission’s “Fit for 55” roadmap, the EU initiative to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, and was the first aspect of the strategy to reach a provisional deal by Parliament and the Council in October 2022.
In addition to the 2035 goal, the proposed legislation also includes interim targets requiring a 55% CO2 emission reduction for new cars and 50% for new vans by 2030, compared to 2021 levels.
Additional measures in the proposal include plans for the Commission to develop a common EU methodology by 2025 for assessing the full life cycle of CO2 emissions of cars and vans, monitoring by the Commission by 2026 of the gap between the emissions limits and real-world data with appropriate follow-up measures, and the publication every two years from 2025 evaluating the progress the progress towards zero-emission road mobility.
The approved deal reached in October also kept in place until 2030 a regulatory mechanism for zero- and low-emission vehicles (ZLEV), rewarding manufacturers with less strict CO2 targets if they meet certain benchmarks for the sales of zero- and low-emission vehicles, but raised the benchmarks to 25% for cars and 17% for vans.
In a social media post following the vote, Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, said:
“With this vote, EU citizens can drive clean, affordable cars. The global transition is happening, and EU car industry is ready to lead it.”