The European Parliament has voted to support a ban on the sale of new combustion-engined cars in the EU from 2035.
The move effectively brings the EU into line with the UK – which will ban pure-combustion cars in 2030 and allow only some hybrids for the following five years – and will mark a significant step in the bloc's journey to net-zero carbon emissions.
As reported by Reuters, lawmakers in the European Parliament today voted in favour of a motion tabled by the European Commission last year, which mandates a 100% reduction in CO2 emissions from news cars by 2035 - effectively outlawing petrol, diesel and hybrid powertrains.
Some had earlier campaigned for a less severe, 90% cut in CO2 emissions by the same date, but these calls were rejected.
However, support of the European Parliament for the proposal does not mean the 2035 ban is now law; the parliament will now negotiate with EU member states in a consultation process, and today's vote dictates the position it will argue.
Irrespective of any EU legislation imposed, many of the largest car manufacturers that operate in the market – including Ford, Volvo, Audi, Mini, Cupra, Jaguar and all Stellantis brands in Europe – have pledged to end the sale of combustion cars before the 2035 end date.
Ford and Volvo, notably, recently joined a consortium of 27 companies to call for the EU to ban the sale of new combustion-engined cars and vans from 2035.
The letter signed by the consortium said: "Together, passenger cars and light commercial vehicles are responsible for 15% of all Europe’s CO2 emissions. To enable all cars and vans on the road to reach zero emissions by 2050, the last car with any combustion engine, including hybrids, should be sold no later than 2035.
"Cars and vans are also the single largest source of nitrogen dioxide pollution, which EEA [the European Environment Agency] estimates to cause over 40,000 premature deaths in Europe every year."
They added that MEPs should support the ambition of firms that have pledged to ditch combustion, while ensuring that "laggards don't delay the market shift".
They also said the EU should impose mandatory targets for the expansion and enhancement of Europe's EV charging infrastructure - often regarded as a significant inhibitor to rapid, widespread electric car adoption.
Accounting firm Ernst and Young estimates that there will need to be 65 million EV chargers in operation across Europe by 2035, given there will be an estimated 130 million EVs on the road, and 85% of these will need to be installed at homes.