Von der Leyen softens the ban on combustion engines

Von der Leyen softens the ban on combustion engines
From 2035, new cars that run on petrol or diesel will no longer be allowed to be sold in the EU.
Image: APA/Christoph Schmidt

It is “very important” that a review takes place in 2026, said the CDU politician in Brussels on Wednesday. “I think what is often forgotten is that there will be an inventory and a review in 2026.” Austria’s Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) is against the end of combustion engines.

“I have always said that phasing out combustion engines is the wrong approach. I have been criticized a lot for this, but I am sticking with it and have therefore enshrined it in my Austrian plan,” said Nehammer in a statement. We need openness to technology and no bans. “I am glad that this opinion is now becoming more and more widespread in Europe and I will continue to speak out clearly and consistently against a ban on green combustion engines,” said Nehammer.

  • From the archive: Combustion engine shutdown with many question marks

Choice for consumers

According to the President of the EU Commission, the aim is to ensure that there is openness to technologies and choice for consumers. Industry should also be able to choose where it wants to invest and what it sees as the mobility of the future.

  • Also read: Combustion engine phase-out in 2035: “Exception rules will be necessary”

In 2022, the EU agreed that from 2035 no new cars that run on gasoline or diesel should be registered. It was already stated in the agreement that a review would take place in 2026. In the German federal government, the FDP in particular had pushed for cars fueled exclusively with climate-friendly e-fuels to be exempt from the so-called combustion engine ban. How this should happen in detail has not yet been finally clarified.

  • You might also be interested in: Europe’s lonely race for CO2 reduction and e-mobility

The chairman of the Christian Democratic EPP group in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, also wants to overturn the end of combustion engines in 2035. “If my group can create a majority after the European elections, we will reverse the ban on combustion engines passed by the European Parliament in this legislative period,” the CSU politician told the Bavarian media group newspapers in December.

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