Press Release

MEPs vote for a faster shift to electric cars

September 10, 2018

The European Parliament's environment committee today signalled the Parliament's support for ambitious CO2 standards for new cars and vans in 2030 and comprehensively rejected the Commission’s inadequate proposal just a month before the full Parliament votes. European NGO federation Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes the vote as a step towards a more rapid transition to electric vehicles, but warns that the renewed ambition falls short of what is needed to meet Europe’s Paris climate commitments.

MEP Miriam Dalli, rapporteur on the file, secured support for amendments to raise emissions reduction targets on the carbon emissions from new cars from 15 to 20% for 2025 and from 30 to 45%, compared to the Commission proposal. MEPs voted for a stronger sales target for zero and ultra low emission cars of 20% in 2025 and 40% in 2030, with penalties for failing to meet these targets. There was also support for real-world testing in an effort to prevent carmakers manipulating tests that T&E recently exposed.

Julia Poliscanova, clean vehicles manager at T&E said: “The Environment Committee has done what the Commission failed to do: propose ambitious car and van CO2 reductions and close testing loopholes so emissions cuts happen on the road too, and not only in labs. The vote shows that MEPs recognise the benefits to drivers, jobs, the climate and the air we breathe of a faster shift to electric cars. The targets are, however, less than the 60% needed to reduce transport emissions in line with the EU’s Paris climate commitments.”

The Committee also proposed a long-term target of zero emissions from new cars and vans by 2040. MEPs rejected double counting of biofuels and other alternative fuels in the regulation that are already promoted through the recently adopted Renewable Energy Directive. A car industry call to combine the cars and vans targets, that would give some carmakers an unfair advantage, were also rejected.

Julia Poliscanova added: “The committee has wisely proposed that new cars should be zero emission by 2040 to send a long-term signal to the industry. MEPs also acknowledged the right place to promote low-emission fuels is the Renewable Energy Directive.”

The Plenary vote will be held during the week of 1 October. EU member states are expected to finalise their position on the law at the Environment Council on 9 October, and are expected to strengthen the Commission’s proposal. Inter-institutional negotiations are expected to be finalised by late 2018 or early 2019 at the latest, allowing the law to be confirmed before the next European elections.

Related Articles

View All