Germany rejects EU plan for ban on petrol cars

Germany’s government will not agree to European Union plans to effectively ban the sale of new cars with combustion engines from 2035, according to Finance Minister Christian Lindner.

In its bid to cut planet-warming emissions by 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels, the European Commission has proposed a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions from new cars by 2035. That means it would be impossible to sell combustion engine cars from then.

Earlier this month the EU’s legislative chamber supported a proposal, first put forward by the European Commission last year, to require a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions from new cars by 2035, which would make it impossible to sell fossil fuel-powered vehicles in the EU from that date.

Attempts by some lawmakers to weaken the target to a 90% CO2 cut by 2035 were rejected.

Speaking at an event hosted by Germany’s BDI industry association, Lindner said there would continue to be niches for combustion engines so a ban was wrong and said the government would not agree to this European legislation.

Lindner, a member of the pro-business Free Democrats, which shares power with the Social Democrats and Greens, said Germany would still be a leading market for electric vehicles.

The EU move on petrol cars is part of a wider project to speed Europe’s shift to electric vehicles and encourage car manufacturers to invest more heavily in electric vehicles.

Companies including Ford and Volvo have publicly supported the EU plan to stop combustion engine car sales by 2035, while others, including Volkswagen, aim to stop selling combustion engine cars in Europe by that date.

Electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles made up 18% of new passenger cars sold in the EU last year, although overall car sales dropped in the year amid semiconductor shortages, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.

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