In 2035, you will (almost) no longer be able to buy a diesel or gasoline car

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After the European Commission, now it’s up to the European Parliament to vote in favor of banning the sale of thermal cars in 2035. But that still does not mean that this measure will enter into force.

ford mustang 2024
ford mustang 2024

We have been hearing about this measure for some time, which worries fans and purists of combustion engines. But if the European Union has spent years talking about the idea ofban the sale of thermal cars one day in its territory, a first draft of this project was born only in May 2022. Then, in June, the European Commission voted in favor of this measure, which was not yet final at the time.

a new step

Indeed, and as in all great institutions, one vote is not enough to approve a law. Especially when it has such a big impact, since it forces all manufacturers to review their strategy. Although many of them, such as Lotus, Alpine or even Ford and Volvo, had not necessarily waited for this measure to announce their desire to become 100% electric in the future.

Thus, if the ban on the sale of thermal cars had been validated for the first time, this bill had to go back to the European Parliament, who had already been able to study it a little earlier. Not surprisingly, the latter re-examined the issue and voted in favor of this measure, as he announced in a press release.

CO2 reduction target, compared to 2021 level

Approved by 340 votes in favour, 279 votes against and 21 abstentions, this text therefore provides for reduce CO2 emissions by 100% of car traffic before January 1, 2035. Without saying it explicitly, this therefore confirms the end of the sale of new thermal cars and utility vehicles on this date. Synthetic fuels, whose development seems increasingly compromised due to their high cost, should also be affected, as well as rechargeable hybrids.

However, and although a recent study shows that they are far from clean, the text also provides for the possibility ofauthorize the sale of these two engines after this period. As long as they completely eliminate polluting gas emissions.

notice that manufacturers that sell less than 10,000 cars a year they will be able to continue marketing thermal models until the end of 2035. Those who add less than 1,000 registrations each year are totally exempt from complying with this obligation.

many stages

In addition, the European Union also evolve the ZLEV incentive mechanism (zero and low emission vehicles). Calculated based on the number of hybrid and electric vehicles sold by each manufacturer, this allows them to to register more thermal cars if sales targets for electrified models are met. A kind of incentive to pollute that, therefore, will be reviewed.

As of 2025, manufacturers will have to sell at least 25% PHEV cars and electric benefit from less stringent emissions targets. This figure will be 17% for light commercial vehicles. As of 2030, on the other hand, this measure will be abolished and brands will no longer have any tolerance.

But these changes will not occur overnight and, above all, in a totally arbitrary way. In fact, the European Parliament confirms that in December 2026, the Commission will assess the progress of this measure and propose solutions according to the situation. A year before, a new methodology to assess CO2 emissions from cars throughout his life they will be established by the European Commission.

On the other hand, this measure has not yet been examined by the Council of the European Union, which will rule on its entry into force. If you vote in favor, the ban will be official.

A relevant measure?

But if the intentions of the main authorities are laudable, not all MEPs are yet convinced. relayed by France24The Czech Katerina Konecna alerts a future China and Africa dependency, where lithium and cobalt mainly come from, with a polluting extraction and carried out in unethical conditions. In addition, the ban on the sale of thermal cars could encourage Chinese brands to invade the European marketwhile this trend has already started.

This worries specialists a lot, who fear that the Old Continent will become a mere importer, to the detriment of the labor market and the environment. This is, in particular, the reason why the government plans to restrict the green bonus to only electric cars produced in Europe. One of the solutions would also be the rise of the sodium battery, which would completely dispense with lithium. This would also lower the price of electric cars and limit the risk of battery shortages.

Cobalt-free batteries (LFP) are becoming more numerous, while lithium deposits are multiplying around the world. Which reduces dependency on a handful of countries for battery manufacturing.

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