Dashboard warning light flashes red for the future of the internal combustion engine – POLITICO


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The mass popularity of the diesel engine is unlikely to reach its 150th anniversary.

First developed in 1893, its obituary is increasingly likely to be written by 2035, alongside its gasoline twin. This is due to the EU’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions from transport by 90% by 2050.

“From a climate perspective, we cannot afford to delay the full transition to electric vehicles until 2035,” said Peter Mock, chief executive of the International Council on Clean Transportation. “Most manufacturers have understood and have already adopted or are in the process of adopting their product plans.”

It becomes very uncomfortable for both technologies.

As POLITICO has reported, EU lawmakers plan to set a 100% CO2 reduction target for new cars by 2035 – effectively banning gasoline, diesel and other fuels that use gasoline. internal combustion engines (ICE).

The idea is that if sales of new combustion-engine cars end by 2035, that gives 15 years to take older cars off the road before the mid-century climate neutrality deadline.

Many cities, countries and automakers in the bloc are starting to set deadlines for fossil fuel cars through an expansion of low-emission urban areas and national bans on new registrations of polluting vehicles.

Seven EU countries have set a gasoline and diesel phase-out date – Slovenia, Sweden, Ireland and the Netherlands rushing for 2030, Denmark for 2035 and car-manufacturing countries , Spain and France, setting it at 2040. Meanwhile, a coalition of nine countries is pushing for the The European Commission will impose an end date for the internal combustion engine.

The EU car manufacturing giant is also in the process of changing. German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer said earlier this year that an end date of 2035 could work for gasoline and diesel, provided investments are injected into building the capacity of alternative fuels that would maintain the ICE – an engineering specialty for Europe’s largest economy – in operation. .

The message is even being heard in Brussels where cars are crazy – where draconian taxes are driving companies to reward workers with company cars instead of cash bonuses. City officials said on Friday they wanted to exclude diesel cars from 2030 and gasoline-powered ones by 2035.

Auto manufacturers are starting to move. The most aggressive are Volkswagen, Ford and Volvo, heralding the end of fossil fuel cars in some markets in the years to come.

What happens next?

The most likely replacement candidate for the ICE is the battery-electric vehicle, which is why the industry is calling for a massive increase in charging points to ease customer anxiety about range.

But there is still rearguard action led by proponents of combustion engines.

Speaking at POLITICO’s Fasten Your Seatbelts event, Sigrid de Vries, who leads the automotive supplier lobby CLEPA, said mandating a 100% reduction in emissions by 2035 would oblige electric cars and speed up cars. efforts to develop alternatives such as synthetic fuels or hydrogen.

“Banning the internal combustion engine is a missed opportunity,” said John Cooper of Brussels-based refineries lobby FuelsEurope, saying that developing alternative fuels would also pay off in aviation and shipping.

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