Volvo, Uber and Vattenfall in open call for EU to end petrol and diesel car sales by 2035

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Businesses including Volvo, Vattenfall, Uber and Ikea have called on the EU to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars, including hybrids, by 2035.

EU lawmakers should set an end date for selling new combustion engine cars in Europe no later than 2035, 27 companies have said in a joint appeal today

The open call has been made ahead of the review of EU car and van CO2 standards in June and proposes a similar commitment to that already made by the UK, saying that it will send a clear investment signal for car manufacturers, supply chains and infrastructure providers.

It will, added the firms, also enable all businesses to decarbonise their vehicle fleets; the UK’s target to phase out ICE vehicles from 2030 and ban all hybrids from 2035 is starting to have a galvanising effect on operators.

Cars and vans are responsible for 15% of all Europe’s CO2 emissions and are the single largest source (26%) of toxic nitrogen oxide emissions, which cause chronic diseases and the premature deaths of 54,000 Europeans every year.

The European Commission will propose new targets in June as part of its ‘Fit for 55” package of legislation, which is intended to put the EU on track to cut overall emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050.

But the companies are also calling for EU lawmakers to use European, national and local measures – particularly the EU Alternative Fuels Infrastructure law – to ramp up deployment of electric vehicle charging points across the bloc. And they’re calling for support for vehicle makers and supply chains to invest in new skills training for workers, along with changes in taxation to support drivers and corporate and urban mobility fleets to switch to electric vehicles.

Anders Kärrberg, head of global sustainability at Volvo Cars, said: “By planning to become a fully electric car company by 2030, Volvo Cars intends to set the pace in the transition to zero emission mobility within our industry. But clear governmental direction and support is also needed to accelerate this transition. In this respect, Volvo Cars is pleased to join this call for the European Commission to propose an end date on new sales of internal combustion engine vehicles within the EU by 2035. Additional measures are also needed to increase EU consumer demand for electrified vehicles, including the rapid development of a comprehensive charging infrastructure.”

Julia Poliscanova, senior director for vehicles and e-mobility at Transport & Environment, added: “Electrification of cars and vans is inevitable for the climate, consumers and for Europe’s industrial strategy. Businesses now want clarity on the speed of the transition to plan and prepare. Only EU lawmakers can provide it by naming the date for the end of combustion engine cars and vans sales.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.