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Sobering Up? EU May Scrap Its Plans To Ban Internal Combustion Engines By 2035

By P Gosselin

After vote in Brussels last Monday evening, a majority of the European Parliament favored a Commission proposal that would no longer automatically classify electric cars as climate-neutral vehicles.

In the proposal, the CO2 emissions of electric cars would depend on the electricity mix used to charge the car, meaning electric cars would not necessarily be classified as “electric only”.

The EU plans to reassess the phase-out of combustion engines, based on the latest data and developments.

So what has brought on this sudden episode of political sobriety in Brussels? Probably a good dose of reality. Here are 4 possible reasons behind the EU’s new position:

1. China

The automotive industry and many EU states warn of the economic and social consequences of a ban on combustion engines.

Electric car production in Europe cannot compete with the far lower costs in China. Europe’s car production would move overseas, and thus result hundreds of thousands of lost jobs –  and lots of social unrest.

Currently Europe is already gripped by social unrest as farmers and truckers protest in the streets against radical green policies.

2. E-car emissions cheating

Currently, electric cars in the EU are given a CO2 emission rating of zero grams! This zero emissions claim is a lie in most cases as the calculation doesn’t take true electricity generation mix into account. Fossil fuels are still widely used in Europe to produce the electric power.

A true accounting would include the CO2 emissions of the electricity used to charge electric cars and make them look less attractive.

3. Climate-neutral fuels (e-fuels):

Efforts are being made to run combustion engines on climate-neutral fuels (e-fuels), which are produced from renewable energies and are thus CO2-neutral.

The EU Commission wants to examine whether newly registered vehicles with combustion engines that run on e-fuels can be registered from 2035. This would effectively suspend the ban on combustion engines, as e-fuels can be used emissions-free in practice.

4. The 2024 European Parliament election

It is scheduled to be held on 6 to 9 June 2024. So now is not the time to upset voters with unpopular legislation. The Brussels bureaucrats probably just want citizens to think they are being pragmatic and will not take a radical course after all.

In summary, the EU may be realizing that banning internal combustion engines, and replacing them with e-cars, is going to cause a lot more damage than good.