EU Lawmakers Seek to Guarantee ICE Tech Into Next Decade

European Parliament's largest party proposes legislation to save ICE powertrains using carbon-neutral fuels beyond proposed 2035 CO2 ban.

Paul Myles, European Editor

July 3, 2024

1 Min Read
green gasoline
'Green' gas engines could win ICE a stay of execution.

Europe’s oldest and largest party of lawmakers could be about to stiffen moves to allow the use of internal-combustion engines in new vehicles beyond the phase-out of all CO2-emitting vehicles in 2035.

Germany already won a proposed stay of execution of ICE technology when the European Commission last year promised to create a legal route for sales of new cars that only run on synthetic fuels, or e-fuels, and carbon-neutral biofuels that can be used as fossil-fuel substitutes.

Now the center-right European People's Party wants to change that promise into proper legislation in a draft document seen by the Reuters news agency. During a meeting in Portugal this week, the party’s lawmakers are discussing policy priorities for the European Union Parliament's next five-year term.

Its draft document of priorities calls for “revising the rules for CO2 reduction for new cars and vans to allow for the use of alternative zero-emission fuels beyond 2035”. The document adds the group wants to “revise the ban on combustion engines and develop cutting-edge combustion engine technology.”

This allows carmakers to continue investing in R&D of ICE technology well beyond the next decade using carbon-neutral fuels and possibly fitted with devices to prevent the use of normal gasoline or diesel fuels.

It would also relieve industry anxiety that the current slowdown in battery-electric vehicle sales is a precursor to many consumers never viewing the technology as suitable to their transport requirements. Increased use of hybrid powertrains would benefit from the move, as well.

European Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen, who belongs to the EPP group and has just been elected to her second term, faces the challenge of also needing to win over groups including the socialists and democrats, which are opposed to weakening Europe's policies to fight climate change.

About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

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