Legislation before EU lawmakers will require all new cars and vans registered in the EU to be zero-emission by 2035.

The proposed legislation includes interim targets requiring a 55% CO2 emission reduction for new cars and 50% for new vans by 2030, compared to 2021 levels.

The EU Parliament and Council also agreed to keep in place a regulatory mechanism for zero- and low-emission vehicles (ZLEV) until 2030, rewarding manufacturers with less strict CO2 targets if they meet certain benchmarks for the sales of zero- and low-emission vehicles, but with the benchmarks increased to 25% for cars and 17% for vans.

Additional aspects of the new agreement included reducing the cap of emission credits that manufacturers can receive for eco-innovations that verifiably reduce CO2 emissions, plans for the Commission to develop a common EU methodology by 2025 for assessing the full life cycle of CO2 emissions of cars and vans, and ensuring that the Commission assesses the progress made towards the zero-emission 2035 goal in 2026.

Executive vice-president for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, said: “The agreement sends a strong signal to industry and consumers: Europe is embracing the shift to zero-emission mobility. European carmakers are already proving they are ready to step up to the plate, with increasing and increasingly affordable electric cars coming to the market. The speed at which this change has happened over the past few years is remarkable.”

The 2035 target was initially proposed last year as part of the European Commission’s “Fit for 55” roadmap, the EU initiative to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

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