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European Union to ban new combustion-engined cars from 2035


Global carmakers will need to cut their carbon emissions by 100 percent from 2035 onwards, a decision that will likely trickle down to Australia 

The European Union has made the decision to ban new petrol- and diesel-powered cars from the year 2035, foreshadowing likely changes to the Australian new car market. 

While the decision will signal the end of the combustion era for 27 countries, it won’t all come to an end abruptly, with manufacturers required to cut 55 percent of emissions from the year 2030 when compared to 2021 figures. 

According to Autocar, the EU has said that the move will not only reduce global emissions but also “stimulate innovation and investments for car manufacturers” as well as making zero-emission vehicles more affordable for the consumer. 

Toyota GR Corolla 2022 engine bay
The EU says that from 2035, all cars delivered in Europe must be zero-emission vehicles

The European Union will also launch a report every two years from 2025 onwards that will evaluate progress in meeting the 2035 target. 

How will this move affect Australia?

The decision could bring change to Australian new car sales as locally, there is now complete reliance on imported new cars.

Ford Ranger Sport 2.0L 2022 front 3/4 driving 2
Petrol and diesel cars will gradually phase out towards 2035

In September 2022, over 10 percent of all new car sales in Australia were from Europe. 32,000 vehicles have come from Germany so far in 2022, with 7000 from Hungary and 5400 from the Czech Republic. Europe was the biggest import behind Thailand, South Korea and Japan. 

The Australian Government has set targets to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and has launched a consultation paper on a National Electric Vehicle strategy. 

Will this apply for all manufacturers?

Lamborghini Urus Perfomante yellow smoke
Lamborghini might be one of the few manufacturers that are exempt

The new regulations will apply for most but not all car manufacturers. Exemptions will be in place for those car makers that produce between 1000 – 10,000 units a year. Those who produce even fewer than 1000 will be free from the regulations for the foreseeable future.

This means that manufacturers such as Lamborghini and Bentley will have more time to reach their targets.

Which brands have set strategies for an electric future?

2022 Toyota EV range lineup
Toyota, like many, have big plans for an electric future

Most, if not all, global car manufacturers have set their emissions-free targets for the future, with many aiming for 2030. 

Here is a list of the key manufacturers and their electrification plans 

  • Audi – electric-only by 2026
  • BMW – 50 percent electrification by 2030
  • Cupra – all electric by 2030 
  • Ford – aiming for 2030 all-electric 
  • Hyundai – to only sell electric cars in 2040
  • Lexus – electric-only by 2030
  • Mazda – 25 percent electrified by 2030 
  • Mercedes-Benz – plans to only release electric cars by 2025, full electric lineup in 2030
  • Nissan – 100 percent electric by the 2030s
  • Porsche – carbon neutral by 2030, 50 percent EV production by 2023
  • Skoda – 50-70 percent mix of EVs by 2030
  • Toyota – many EV plans, no definitive date set for full electrification 
  • Volkswagen – most of its European models set to be electric by 2035 under broad SSP platform 
  • Volvo – lineup to go fully electric by 2030