Automakers say they won’t try to push back EU’s 2035 ICE ban

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Rumors have been brewing for weeks now that Europe’s automakers were challenging the EU’s decision to ban ICE vehicles as of 2035. But the ACEA, Europe’s automakers association, said that it is not pushing back and is all in with the EV future.

President of the ACEA and CEO of Renault, Luca de Meo told the press this week at the Geneva Motor Show that the auto industry wants no part in arguing “against the regulation,” reports Automotive New Europe.

“We are not contesting 2035,” said de Meo. “Now we must get down to it.” He added that the upcoming ban target of 2035 “is potentially feasible, but the right conditions must be put in place.”

Still, a tentative tone…

De Meo added that the industry has invested billions in electrification, which all would be a waste if regulations switched gears. “There is no way the industry can go back to square one. It’s bad for the environment,” he said.

Automakers, however, have been urging for more government incentives and investment in charging infrastructure to help nudge higher EV adoption rates. 2024 brought an end, or a radical reduction, in many EU incentive programs.

The European auto industry is under intense pressure from Chinese rivals and Tesla, which sells more EVs in Europe than any other brand. Creative solutions are certainly on the table: Volkswagen, Renault, and Stellantis are weighing possibly joining together to make cheaper electric vehicles – fearing it’s their only option.

In recent weeks, all roads seemed to be leading to a big push from automakers to convince the EU to slow down its ramp-up to EVs, just as is potentially happening in the US – actions that will have a devastating impact on the climate. According to an earlier report from Bloomberg, the EU is already due to review the plans, with automakers getting their lobbyists ready for a fight soon after the European parliamentary elections in June. Plus Porsche’s CFO Lutz Meschke warned that Europe may push back its 2035 ban on ICE vehicles due to slowing EV demand.

Electrek’s Take

Definitely good news that this isn’t happening, if that is truly the case. Of course, automakers have failed to move fast enough in their EV transition – and all of those bad decisions are falling on the backs of an entire industry that employs millions of people. Thousands of other jobs are on the line, with Volkswagen cutting thousands of jobs in Germany to slash $11 billion in costs, and auto suppliers in the EU laying off tens of thousands of workers – just last week a major auto supplier for Tesla, VW, and Ford announced it was slashing 10,000 jobs. 

Still, things are happening, new models are coming out, production is moving along, with new models on display at the Geneva auto show alongside BYD’s ample contribution. For its part, BMW says it is now investing $711 million (€650 million) to convert its main factory in Munich to exclusively produce electric vehicles by the end of 2027, in hopes of pushing its next-gen Neue Klasse EVs forward. The automaker says it hit its target of 15% share of battery-electric vehicles – and expects to sell half a million BEVs in 2024.

Photo: Courtesy of Renault


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