15.02.2023 – Yesterday, Tuesday, February 14, 2023, the EU Parliament finally decided to phase out the internal combustion engine. This means that from 2035, no new passenger cars with combustion engines may be registered, and only used cars may run on diesel or gasoline. This is intended to reduce CO2 consumption throughout the EU. By 2030, CO2 emissions from newly registered passenger cars and light commercial vehicles are to be cut by around half.
Negotiators from the Parliament and the EU countries had already agreed on the compromise in October 2022. The MEPs have now approved the agreement.
One point of contention in the negotiations was whether vehicles with synthetic fuels should be an exception. So-called e-fuels are produced using electricity, mostly from water and CO2. The EU Commission is examining whether these could be approved in the future after all.
Regarding the new legislation, Tiemo Wölken, climate policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, said that the decision secures the path to conversion to cars without internal combustion engines, which car manufacturers have been on for a long time.
Addendum, 08.03.2023: EU postpones vote on phasing out internal combustion vehicles
For the EU order to come into force, the consent of the individual EU states is necessary. The corresponding vote should take place on 07.03.2023 – usually a mere formality, but not this time. In a preparatory ambassadors' meeting on 03.03.2023 it turned out that no necessary majority for the ban on internal combustion vehicles would be achieved. Necessary majority means: at least 15 nations representing at least 65 percent of the EU population. This means that the EU decision on banning new cars with internal combustion engines from 2035 has been postponed indefinitely.
Earlier, Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing of the FDP had reiterated his party's opposition to the plans. Since no agreement could thus be reached within the Federal Government, Germany would have had to abstain from the vote. Wissing is calling for a compromise proposal from the EU Commission that internal combustion vehicles should remain permitted after 2035 as long as they are powered by synthetic fuels (e-fuels).
A new date for the final vote on the combustion engine phase-out has not yet been set.
Addendum, 03/30/2023: Exception for e-fuel vehicles
The dispute between the German government and the EU dragged on for weeks. Now, the EU member states have decided to largely ban new vehicles with combustion engines, after the decision had been blocked by Germany for weeks. The German government was finally able to push through the planned exemption for e-fuel vehicles.
After 2035, only zero-emission vehicles will be allowed to be newly registered. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)