European Commission and car industry: what will happen to “classic” cars

The European Commissioner for the Internal Market is encouraging the car industry to make the transition to 2035, while continuing to export thermal or hybrid vehicles to countries that will still need them.

European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton called on European carmakers to continue exporting cars with internal combustion engines, despite their 2035 ban in the EU, to meet demand from other continents.

Last year, Brussels announced its goal of reducing CO2 emissions from new cars in the European Union to zero from 2035, which will prevent the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles to date in favor of 100% electric engines.

“Even if Europe bans the sale of internal combustion engines, other countries in the world will continue to use them,” said Breton during a trip to Lombardy, where he met with representatives of the automotive industry, including Stellantis President John Elkann. .

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Thierry Breton pointed out that the market share of electricity will be limited to 12% of new car sales in Africa around 2030 and 40% in the United States or India.

Closure of factories and destruction of jobs

“I encourage the entire car ecosystem, on the one hand, to ensure the electrical transition to be ready for 2035 in the EU, but also to continue to export thermal or hybrid vehicles to countries that will continue to need it for many years or decades.” he told AFP.

The European Commissioner wanted producers to “remember that their vocation is to serve the world market and to take care of the entire industrial ecosystem”.

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He added that he wanted “large groups to fully understand their responsibilities and continue to produce heat engines in Europe for the rest of the world, rather than move abruptly for reasons beyond comprehension.”

European producers have repeatedly warned of the social impact of the green transition, fearing that it will lead to the closure of factories and the destruction of jobs.

In addition to the 100% electricity target in 2035, the Commission must present by July a proposal for new tough regulations on car emissions, the future Euro 7 standard, to be applied from 2025.

For Thierry Breton, this standard, which will be among the strictest in the world, will give European producers a competitive advantage. “This know-how will enable them to be more competitive than others in the global market for thermal or hybrid vehicles with very low CO2 emissions and polluting derivatives.”

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