German car associations were up in arms following a decision by the European Parliament to support a de facto ban on the sale of new combustion engine cars as of 2035, saying it was too ambitious and costly and going against the market and citizens.
The ban on the sale of cars running on petrol and diesel is a pivotal part of the European Commission’s long-term goal of becoming climate neutral in 2050. Previously, the transport sector had been one of the bloc’s climate laggards.
After a significant majority in the European Parliament voted to support a 2035 ban on Wednesday afternoon (8 June), car manufacturers wasted no time lashing out.
“The EU Parliament has today decided against citizens, against the market, against innovation and against modern technologies,” said Hildegard Müller, president of the German auto industry association VDA, in a statement issued a few hours later on Wednesday.
Citing the lacklustre charging infrastructure in Europe, Müller said it was too early for such an outright ban. Her association had previously warned that the rollout of the charging infrastructure in Germany was too slow.
“It is, therefore, simply too early for such an objective. It will increase costs for consumers and put consumer confidence at risk.”
Her position was supported by the VDA’s EU counterpart, ACEA.
“Given the volatility and uncertainty we are experiencing day-by-day globally, any long-term regulation going beyond this decade is premature at this early stage,” said Oliver Zipse, president of ACEA and CEO of German carmaker BMW.’
The German association of car drivers, ADAC, chimed in as well, expressing in a press release its “regrets” about the ban and noting that “it will not be possible to achieve the ambitious climate protection goals in transport with electromobility alone”.