GB News guests debate using electric cars
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European Parliament lawmakers will vote today on whether to mandate an end to the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars and vans from 2035. Industry and MEPs from some car manufacturing countries are pushing for a stay of execution for combustion engines, saying they are required to keep plug-in hybrid models alive.
In the UK all new petrol and diesel models will be banned from sale in 2030, with hybrids banned five years later.
On Wednesday, lawmakers can either vote with the European Commission which states all new cars and vans sold from 2035 must be zero emission.
Or they can support a counter proposal from the center-right European People’s Party to bring that reduction down to 90 percent with no fixed phaseout date, reported Politico.
Out of 705 voters officials agree the winning margin is likely to be no more than 15 votes.
Alex Keynes, manager for clean vehicles at Transport & Environment, said: “Phasing out combustion engine cars and vans is a historic opportunity to end our oil dependence and make us safer from despots and climate change.”
While those on the other side of the fence say that forcing electric cars to be the only option could doom one of Europe’s largest industries.
Jens Gieseke, the German conservative MEP spearheading efforts to cut the 2035 mandate to 90 percent, said: “We have to deliver on emission reductions while ensuring that the economy can manage the social transition.”
He also said it makes no sense to force carmakers to expand EV sales if the electricity needed to charge car batteries isn’t clean.
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The situation is complicated by the voter location and interests.
MEPs from Germany’s Free Democrats, for example, who are part of Renew Europe, support 90 percent even though their party is part of a German government that backs the 2035 phaseout.
There are also dissenters within the French delegation who fear job losses at Renault.
The question of jobs is critical for carmaking Central European countries, prompting lawmakers from the Czech Republic and Romania to side with holding the ban at 90 percent.
Karima Delli, a French Green MEP, said: “Let’s not listen to the lobbyists from the fuel industry and carmakers who keep emailing you, don’t give in folks.
“We will stand with workers so that factories are not closed down.”
But Mr Gieseke warned that ending the sale of combustion engine cars would put some 500,000 jobs at risk.
The outcome of the vote will also affect revised emission standards for trucks, which the Commission is expected to publish later this year.
It comes as the sales of new cars in the UK have hit one of the worst points in 30 years.
The cost of living crisis, the raging inflation, and semiconductor shortages have all had a massive impact on the struggling industry.
The number of new UK registrations fell by over 20 percent in May compared to last year.
This in turn made May’s figures the second-lowest in 30 years.
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