The European Parliament on Tuesday formally approved a law to effectively ban the sale of any new car with a combustion engine – including petrol, diesel and hybrid models – in the European Union from 2035 in a bid to speed up the switch to electric vehicles and combat climate change.

Members voted in landslide favour for a 100 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions from new cars sold in the EU by 2035, received 340 votes for, 279 against and 21 abstentions.

It will also see stricter intermediate emissions targets for cars sold in the EU between now and the deadline, including a 55 per cent reduction on 2021 CO2 outputs levels by 2030, which is much higher than the existing target of 37.5 per cent.

Curtains for the combustion engine in Europe: The European Parliament has formally approved a law to ban the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars in the European Union from 2035

Curtains for the combustion engine in Europe: The European Parliament has formally approved a law to ban the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars in the European Union from 2035

Curtains for the combustion engine in Europe: The European Parliament has formally approved a law to ban the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars in the European Union from 2035

The UK Government has already set out its own plans to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, with some hybrids permitted to remain in showrooms for a further five years.

However, only hybrids that can ‘drive a significant distance without emitting carbon’ will stay on sale until 2035, and ministers are still yet to clarify what constitutes as a ‘significant distance’. 

Under the EU’s new directive, ‘low-volume’ manufacturers will be exempt from the tougher CO2 emissions targets.

Only brands producing between 1,000 to 10,000 new cars a year will be given exemption from the CO2 targets until the end of 2035.

This includes British firms including Aston Martin and McLaren, which have outputs of around 6,200 and 2,100 units per annum, based on 2021 volumes. Bentley, with production of 15,639 cars last year, would not qualify for the emissions target exemptions. 

As for those makers registering fewer than 1,000 new vehicles annually, they will be exempt from the rules indefinitely.

While a selection of small British car makers produce in suitably limited numbers to qualify for this exemption, most do not build their own engines and instead source powerplants from mainstream brands who will no longer be making them.

In Europe, bespoke brands such as Pagani and Koenigsegg – which only sell multi-million-pound hypercars – will likely be able to continue producing combustion-engined models.

EU countries still need to formally rubber stamp the rules in the Council of the European Union before they can take effect, with final approval expected next month.

The UK Government has already set out its own plans to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, with some hybrids permitted to remain in showrooms for a further five years

The UK Government has already set out its own plans to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, with some hybrids permitted to remain in showrooms for a further five years

The UK Government has already set out its own plans to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, with some hybrids permitted to remain in showrooms for a further five years

Jan Huitema, the EU Parliament’s lead negotiator for the law, said on Tuesday: ‘This regulation encourages the production of zero- and low-emission vehicles. 

‘It contains an ambitious revision of the targets for 2030 and a zero-emission target for 2035, which is crucial to reach climate-neutrality by 2050.

‘These targets create clarity for the car industry and stimulate innovation and investments for car manufacturers.

‘Purchasing and driving zero-emission cars will become cheaper for consumers and a second-hand market will emerge more quickly. It makes sustainable driving accessible to everyone.’

Various car makers have already pledged to end the production of combustion engine models by 2030.

Ford, which announced 2,300 job cuts across Europe – including 1,300 in the UK – as part of its plan to focus on a smaller range of electric cars, has committed to making only plug-in hybrid and fully-electric vehicles from 2026, and only 100 per cent battery models by 2030.

The Stellantis group, which is the parent company of Citroen, Fiat, Peugeot, Vauxhall and other brands, has also outlined its intention to sell only electric vehicles in Europe by the end of the decade, as has Volvo.

Jaguar will be among the first established mainstream brands to ditch petrol and diesel engines entirely when it becomes a ‘pure-electric luxury brand’ from 2025.

Last week, green think tank Transport & Environment published the results from tests of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) that found they the latest models can emit up to three times their ‘official’ CO2 emissions when driven on the road.

It called for all PHEVs to be banned from sale in the UK along with traditional petrol and diesel cars in 2030.

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This post first appeared on Dailymail.co.uk

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