EU countries discuss the planned ban on polluting vehicles

Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) A group of eight EU member states discussed the planned ban on the sale of new vehicles with internal combustion engines.

Transport ministers from Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic discussed potential changes to the ban at a meeting in Strasbourg on Monday, according to Reuters reporting.

Czech Minister of Transport Martin Kupka noted before the meeting that the discussion is aimed at making planned Euro 7 rules “acceptable for the EU automotive industry and its customers.”

EU member states are to start negotiating on the Euro 7 standard later this year. It is aimed at lowering limits on emissions of pollutants, with the EC predicting that health benefits would outweigh the costs.

On the other hand, some EU member states including the Czech Republic criticize proposed rules as too burdensome for carmakers. According to an EU official, the eight ministers discussed “unrealistic” deadlines that Euro 7 sets, among other issues.

Ministers reminded that planned rules aimed at lowering CO2 emissions would ban the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines from 2035. The EC noted that new rules are its main tool to speed up the green push, but adoption was put on hold after Germany objected.

EU Parliament and Council agreed on new rules last year, but the group of eight bloc members wants to change them.

Different perspectives

Some members of the group, including Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic, want assurances that the ban will not apply to vehicles that run on carbon-neutral fuels.

Poland warned that new rules would present a financial hit on consumers and stressed that its criticism of the rules was “much more fundamental” than which fuels may be used after 2035.

According to the Commission, the average lifespan of cars stands at 15 years, which is why the ban must be put in place in 2035 to help the EU to become carbon neutral by 2050. Automotive companies in the EU are criticizing the proposal as well, with Porsche noting on Monday that the German government was “taking the appropriate steps” to make sure the ban does not apply to cars that will run on environmentally friendly fuels.

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