Combustion engine ban planned for 2035: What drivers need to know now

If the European Parliament, based in Strasbourg, has its way, internal combustion engines in new cars should be banned from 2035. This is causing a lot of fuss. Even if the sales ban has not yet been decided, there are many questions.

According to EU plans, manufacturers will no longer be allowed to sell cars with internal combustion engines from 2035 for reasons of climate protection. EU countries still have to agree to the ban before it takes effect.

Answers to 10 important questions about the end of combustion engines: What does it mean for drivers?

Many consumers are already concerned about the consequences of the decision. The Auto Industry Association is also critical of the plans – and wants to include synthetic fuels in the climate strategy.

Germany and other countries should focus. A common position is missing in Berlin. Federal Transport Minister Volker Wessing and Finance Minister Christian Lindner (both FDP) rejected the ban on Thursday (June 9, 2022). However, representatives of the Green Party and the Social Democratic Party supported the decision of the European Parliament. Therefore, it is currently unclear how Germany will vote at the EU level.

This will happen if the bill enters into force as decided by Parliament:

Can I still drive my combustion engine car after 2035?

yes. Only new cars will be sold. Specifically, the so-called fleet limits are regulated in the legislative proposal. These are specifications for manufacturers regarding the amount of carbon dioxide that cars and vans may emit during operation. This value should be reduced to zero by 2035. If the car runs on gasoline or diesel, it emits carbon dioxide.

What happens to my old combustion engine?

Not affected by law. Combustion cars should continue to be driven after 2035 and used cars should be resold. How the decision affects the prices of the combustion engines used depends on several factors. This is also evidenced by the fact that the prices of used cars have increased significantly in the recent past. Drivers were and still are mainly Corona, a shortage of microchips and other parts.

Will the combustion ban surely come in this way?

This is not clear. EU countries want to agree on their position at the end of the month before the start of final negotiations with Parliament. In theory, it is still possible to unblock the ban. Observers, such as CDU MEP Jens Gieseke, posit: “It is possible that the ban on combustion engines in 2035 will not be preventable.”

Is the federal government still blocking the decision?

not alone. The decision of the EU countries does not have to be taken unanimously. Even if Germany were against the phase-out of combustion engines from 2035, there would not automatically be a majority against this decision. The vast majority against phasing out combustion engines is currently considered unrealistic.

Is the next step a ban on driving combustion engines?

This is not to be expected. Plans to completely ban internal combustion engine cars on the roads are not known. Realistically, banning sales would automatically make combustion engines scarce.

What about the charging infrastructure?

As of May 1, the Federal Network Agency has been notified that there are 60,000 publicly available good charging points for electric cars in Germany. At the beginning of 2021, there were approximately 41,600. The Automobile Industry Association estimates that about 1 million charging points will be needed in the public sector by 2030. However, the Federal Federation of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) is optimistic: “The expansion of stations Shipping is making good progress,” says Kerstin Andreae of BDEW. It confirms that charging stations have become more efficient, and indicates a good growth rate in expansion. Charging station operators ensure a charging network tailored to meet the needs – “today, tomorrow and in 2030”.

Are synthetic fuels not an option for climate-friendly combustion engines?

In principle yes. With this alternative fuel, cars and vans can also be operated in a climate-neutral manner. If they are produced correctly – that is, with green electricity – the bottom line is that these energy sources do not produce any additional greenhouse gases. However, critics note that there are actually very few of these “green” fuels for aviation and shipping, and they are less easy to run on electricity than cars or vans. Additionally, when calculating the kilometer, it takes more electricity to produce the so-called e-fuel than it does to power cars directly electrically.

Which countries wanted to phase out combustion engines even before the European Parliament’s decision?

In some countries there has been a phase-out history for quite some time: Norway, for example, intends to stop selling classic petrol or diesel-engine vehicles from 2025. Great Britain, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium recently targeted 2030, and France wanted to continue by 2040 at the latest. Even the huge emerging country of India wants to phase out conventional fuel technology in the medium term. The government in Germany is divided.

When do automakers want out?

American giant General Motors as well as Volvo and Jaguar and in Europe, Ford, for example, have a concrete phase-out strategy. The Volkswagen Group has not yet set a firm date for the general phase-out of combustion engines – however, some brands in the group have announced that they will bid farewell Gradual and domestic technology of gasoline and diesel. Last November at the World Climate Conference in Glasgow, Mercedes-Benz called for a ban on sales of combustion engines in leading markets from 2035.

How else can emissions in road traffic be reduced?

There is a proposal to include transport in the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). In emissions trading, some companies already have to pay for emissions of climate-damaging gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2). A compromise on this, which would initially have only affected commercial vehicles in the European Union, failed on Wednesday in the European Parliament. MEPs want to try again in two weeks to reach an agreement. In Germany, traffic is already part of the emissions trading.

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