The EU Parliament wants to ban new cars with internal combustion engines from 2035 – but the EU countries still have to agree. You now want to determine your position.

If the EU Parliament has its way, manufacturers will no longer be allowed to sell cars with internal combustion engines from 2035 for climate protection reasons.

The EU countries would still have to agree to a ban before it can come into force. They now want to define their position on the subject. The most important questions and answers at a glance.

Is the result already more or less certain?

no A few weeks ago, most observers of the Brussels political scene assumed that the EU states would also advocate phasing out combustion engines. Then there was a surprising dispute in the federal government about the German position. While it was still said in March that a de facto ban on the sale of new combustion engines would be supported by the traffic light, the FDP ministers Christian Lindner and Volker Wissing recently called for decisive changes to the project. Even on the day of the ministerial negotiations, there still seemed to be disagreements within the traffic light coalition on the government’s position.

Can Germany determine the position of the EU countries alone?

Of course not, but many countries pay attention to how Germany behaves. “It is likely that others will follow if Berlin does not vote for a ban on new cars with internal combustion engines by 2035,” an EU diplomat recently told the German Press Agency. An opinion shared by other experts.

What happens if the EU countries oppose a combustion engine exit?

Then it’s not off the table yet. The EU states must come to an agreement with the EU Parliament. Since parliament has already spoken out in favor of phasing out new combustion engines from 2035, it is still possible for parliamentarians to push through with this demand. The situation is different if the EU countries decide to phase out combustion engines. Since the two positions on this question are already very close together, it would be extremely unlikely that anything would change.

Can I still drive my combustion engine car after 2035 if the ban comes?

Yes. Only the sale of new cars would be banned. Specifically, the so-called fleet limits are regulated in the legislative proposal. These are specifications for manufacturers as to how much CO2 the cars and vans they produce may emit during operation. This value is to be reduced to zero by 2035. If a car runs on petrol or diesel, it emits CO2.

How are carmakers reacting?

The auto industry had a mixed reaction to the proposal. “It can come – we are best prepared,” said Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess. The manager referred to the electric models already on offer and planned. As part of the VW Group, Audi even plans to stop selling cars with internal combustion engines in a few years. By 2030, Mercedes-Benz sees itself ready to “become fully electric wherever market conditions permit”. The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), which also represents suppliers, was more skeptical. There is still insufficient charging infrastructure for e-cars in large parts of Europe.

Which countries wanted to phase out combustion engines even before the EU parliamentary decision?

In some countries there has been a phase-out date for some time: Norway, for example, wants to stop selling vehicles with classic petrol or diesel engines from 2025. Great Britain, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium most recently aimed for the year 2030, France wanted to follow up by 2040 at the latest. Even the huge emerging country of India wants to phase out conventional drive technology in the medium term. In Germany, the government is divided.

What else is on the agenda at the ministerial meeting?

In addition to voting on the de facto ban on new cars and vans with combustion engines from 2035, top politicians are trying to agree on a common position on the reform of EU emissions trading and on a climate social fund worth billions. With emissions trading (ETS), certain industries have to pay for the emission of climate-damaging gases such as CO2. The climate social fund is intended to relieve the burden on citizens, since more climate protection is also expected to result in higher costs for consumers.