Support in European cities for only selling emissions-free cars after 2030

Julia Poliscanova — April 12, 2021

A phase-out of cars with internal combustion engines is one of the regulatory options being considered for the upcoming review of the EU CO2 standards for cars and vans, which the European Commission will propose this summer. T&E decided to gauge public opinion to understand whether people on the ground support such policies. A representative Pan-European online survey with 10,050 respondents across 15 large European cities in 8 countries was commissioned to leading institute YouGov. This briefing (downloadable below) details the main results.

The main results are:

  • Across all cities, almost two in three city dwellers (63%) support the idea that after 2030 only emission-free cars should be allowed to be on sale in Europe. This shows that the public is broadly supportive of an EU-wide phase-out of combustion engine cars.
  • In all of the 15 cities across 8 countries in Western, Southern and Eastern Europe, there is a consistent majority in support (51% to 77%) of emission-free cars sales after 2030.
  • Respondents who got infected with Covid-19 or whose close ones suffered from the virus show significantly stronger support than those who don’t know people who got sick or don’t recall (66% vs. 56%).
  • Price (55%), infrastructure (51%) and the range of electric vehicles (45%) are seen as the main factors that will drive the sales of electric cars above those of petrol and diesel cars.
  • Only one in 10 (10%) of all respondents thinks that electric car sales will not overtake those of petrols and diesels in the future.

In T&E’s view this shows that Europeans are ready for the switch to zero-emission mobility. Politicians should listen, and the European Commission should, this summer, propose an EU-wide phase-out of cars with internal combustion by 2035 at the very latest.

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