It’s historic! Europe moves to electric cars in 2035

After months of debate and intense lobbying, MEPs voted to end the sale of (new) petrol, diesel and hybrid cars in 2035. De facto, only electric cars can be sold, excluding the second-hand market.

Fuels are still an option

Gasoline and diesel vehicles will still be able to run in the EU after 2035. The law only covers the sale of new vehicles.

Europe will be the first major market to change ahead of China and the United States, but Norway has already set a deadline of 2025 and Israel 2030.

Hybrids and electric are taking over

Under the influence of European standards, public subsidies and the growing supply of hybrids and electric vehicles, petrol vehicles are already on the decline. This has mainly benefited soft hybrids (petrol and diesel), which accounted for a quarter of European sales in the first quarter of 2022.

Plug-in hybrids accounted for 8.9% of the market, and electric hybrids for 10% (+ 53.4% ​​in one year). Rather high-end at the moment, they are becoming more numerous on Dutch, Swedish or German roads in particular. But they are far from zero emissions, their emissions are even comparable or worse than those of a gas car if their owner does not recharge them.

Most Europeans now think their next car will be hybrid or electric, according to a European Investment Bank survey.

One big question remains: “What will drive a home to switch to two electric vehicles?” Says Eric Kirstetter of Roland Berger. “People are likely to cling to a combustion vehicle for fear of weekend or holiday travel.”

The car, a luxury product?

The prices of electric cars, which are now much higher than those of internal combustion engines, could go down quite quickly as they are mass-produced and the cost of batteries goes down.

The Stellantis group (Peugeot, Fiat, etc.) estimated at the beginning of 2022 that parity could be reached between 2025 and 2030, but the prices of many materials have skyrocketed since then.

“Electricity will remain structurally quite expensive for a while. We are moving towards a market that is increasingly geared towards people with more means,” warns Eric Kirstetter.

In the second-hand market, which worries most motorists, electric models are also beginning to multiply.

On the other hand, the price of thermal cars should increase with the increase of government sanctions. Thermal power plants could experience an unexpected effect on the second-hand market, according to Kirstetter.

The industry needs to change

France, Germany, Spain, Italy … In each of these countries, the automotive industry represents an important part of industrial jobs.

But in the manufacture of electric vehicles that require less labor than thermal vehicles, the energy transition could destroy many jobs, despite the establishment of battery factories. In France, for example, the switch to electricity could lead to the loss of 65,000 jobs out of the 200,000 in the sector, according to the automotive platform (PFA).

This transition is also an “unprecedented opportunity” for start-ups such as Tesla and Chinese manufacturers, with the support of their government and an expanding local market, says Felipe Muoz of Jato’s cabinet.

Less emissions

“Electric vehicles powered by low-carbon electricity offer the main potential to decarbonize land transport, in life cycle analysis,” that is, even including the manufacture of batteries, emphasize climate experts. ‘UN (IPCC).

Without exhaust gas, the electric car also does not pollute the air in city centers. But it is not “green” for all this, because it is necessary to produce the electricity that animates it, which is done with coal-fired power plants in certain countries.

When it comes to battery manufacturing, its main components come from mining, in countries with often non-existent or incomplete social standards.

Extracting and processing them creates new strategic dependencies, for example in China, and recycling them is still expensive.

Leave a Comment