It was just this morning that Mercedes said that it would be fast tracking its electric car plans, and now, according to a new report, it’s probably not a coincidence at all that the European Union is proposing fast-tracking its electric car plans, too.
The European Commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm, plans to require emissions from new cars and vans to fall by 65 per cent from 2030 and by 100 per cent from 2035 compared with this year’s levels, according to an EU document seen by Bloomberg News.
The tougher pollution standards will be complemented by rules that will oblige national governments to bolster vehicle charging infrastructure.
The clean overhaul of transport will be part of a swath of measures to enact a stricter 2030 climate goal of cutting greenhouse gases by at least 55 per cent from 1990 levels.
Previously, the E.U. had not set a date for when ICE cars would be phased out, but this would effectively be a ban from 2035, which is 15 years before when the E.U. is targeting the entire continent to be net-zero emissions, in 2050. The timing there is not a coincidence, as analysts say it takes about 15 years for new cars to cycle into use and old ones to cycle out, meaning that, if this happens, by 2050 the vast majority of cars on the road in Europe will be zero-emission: battery-electric or fuel-cell electric.
In America, that is an almost impossible thing to imagine here, but in Europe, this goal is being coupled with an infrastructure essentials, too.
To help the massive roll-out of EVs, a regulation on alternative fuels will require member states to ensure electric charging points are installed every 60 km (37 miles) on major highways. Hydrogen refuelling points would have to be available at the maximum interval of 150 km (93 miles).
Bloomberg notes that this is still in the proposal stage and the rules could change, but keep an eye on the automakers themselves, as they are canaries in the coal mine with billions at stake. The pattern here has been: Automaker announces bold new plan to go even more EV just before regulators announce plans to go even stricter with emissions rules. It was just earlier Friday when a Mercedes executive was quoted as saying the company is switching “from EV first to EV only.” It’s almost like they already knew.