MEPs vote to end sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2035

MEPs vote to end sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2035

The European parliament has voted to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars  by 2035, after defeating attempts by centre-right parties to weaken the targets.

The vote was held up as a major victory for the climate, during a day of intense voting on laws that make up the EU’s green deal.

The final law still has to be negotiated with the EU’s 27 national governments but the vote in the European parliament increases the pressure.

The switch from cars operated by an internal combustion engine (petrol or diesel) to electric vehicles is a key part of the government’s Climate Action Plan, which wants 1 million Irish cars to be EVs by the end of the decade.

More than half of new car buyers last year could have afforded an EV but just 8 per cent chose to do so. This is in spite of the fact that many car buyers cite affordability as the reason they don’t buy electric.

In January, it was reported that used car prices have increased by 56 per cent since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

As second hand cars are more likely to have an internal combustion engine and they become harder to find, more and more people are turning to electric vehicles.

Fully electric vehicles accounted for 2.4 per cent of new car registration in 2019 but this had increased to 10.5 per cent by the second half of 2021.

The market share of hybrid cars has also increased. In the first half of 2019, new registrations for hybrids was 9.4 per cent of the total; this was 27 per cent in the second half of last year.