Italy, Portugal, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia have submitted a joint proposal to postpone the end of combustion engine vehicles for five years, from 2035 proposed by the European Commission to 2040.
Italy and four other countries have proposed a five-year gap for passenger cars, in such a way that they establish an emission reduction target of 90% in 2035 and 100% in 2040. In the case of light commercial vehicles, they have proposed that emission reduction targets are set at 45% by 2030, 80% by 2035 and 100% by 2040.
In a joint letter presented last Friday at a meeting at the level of ambassadors, the five countries have urged the rest of the Member States to create a transition period so as not to generate “disproportionate and unnecessary costs for the automotive industry and consumers” .
In July of last year, the European Commission proposed that from 2035 new passenger cars or vans with combustion engines, that is, gasoline, diesel, gas or hybrid vehicles, cannot be sold. A proposal that was supported, earlier this month, by the European Parliament.
Regarding the incentive mechanism for zero and low emission vehicles (ZLEV) that Brussels proposed to withdraw in 2030, the five countries propose that it be monitored and evaluated in 2028 to review its effectiveness instead of withdrawing directly on the agreed date.
In the letter, the five Member States argue that there are “barriers” to achieving zero-emission mobility, such as the expansion of the electric recharging network, the development of a “European battery industry”, establishing adequate incentives for the production of vehicles zero emissions or the “adaptation of the automotive sector” that will have to change its component supply network as well as adapt the training of its workers.
In addition, the letter makes a specific mention of vans and points out that their electrification and development require longer production times and that it is necessary to “guarantee equal conditions between manufacturers of light vehicles”, in such a way that it is distributed among them the reduction of emissions and does not harm the producers of “heavier vans”.
Italy and four other Member States warn of the impact for small and medium-sized companies of an accelerated transition, which would force them to modify the characteristics of their vehicles and could lead to the loss of market share, which would have a negative impact on employment and in “the potential for innovation”.
Thus, they ask for “an extension” for small producers, whose environmental impact is very limited since they represent 0.2% of new car registrations in the EU, and 0.3% of new van registrations in the EU.
Finally, these five countries have required that the use of renewable fuels be considered to give producers “the necessary flexibility” without incurring commercial risks and thus avoid situations of shortage of affordable cars and vans for private or business use.