EU Parliament votes to phase out petrol engine car sales by 2035
The legislation has been welcomed by all EU members but was met by some opposition from conservative lawmakers.
The European Parliament voted on Tuesday to pass legislation on banning the sale of carbon-emitting cars by 2035 and is currently working on implementing it legally.
It reportedly passed the Strasbourg assembly by 340 votes to 279, with 21 abstentions.
The move is part of the bloc's climate objectives to reach a net-zero economy by 2050 and is intended to give car manufacturers a specific timeframe to shift to the production of zero-emission electric vehicles.
The legislation has been welcomed by all EU members but was met with some opposition from conservative lawmakers.
"Let me remind you that between last year and the end of this year, China will bring 80 models of electric cars to the international market," EU vice president Frans Timmermans warned MEPs.
"These are good cars. These are cars that will be more and more affordable, and we need to compete with that. We don't want to give up this essential industry to outsiders."
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Opponents of the legislation said that the industry will be pressured beyond measure to effect such a dramatic shift in the production of internal combustion engine vehicles.
The downside, they argue, is that millions of jobs will be at risk.
"Our proposal is ... to let the market decide what technology is our best to reach our goals," said MEP Jens Gieseke, a member of the center-right European People's Party, adding that arguments raised by Green and socialist lawmakers that electric vehicles are cheaper to run had been rendered "null and void" by the energy crisis and the rising cost of living.
"In Germany, 600,000 people work on ICE production, those jobs are at risk," he declared while calling on the European Commission to review its plans and delay the ban to trucks and buses.
Others have argued that car batteries are manufactured by European competitors such as the United States.
But with EU-backed investment, European production would increase, Timmermans argued.
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