Despite Member Nation Rhetoric, European Union Says No to Electric Car Quotas

Internal combustion isn’t dead just yet in Europe.

byStephen Edelstein|
Despite Member Nation Rhetoric, European Union Says No to Electric Car Quotas

While certain member nations have discussed banning sales of new gasoline and diesel cars, the European Union is taking a more conservative approach to reducing emissions. The EU won't adopt electric-car sales quotas, a spokesperson recently confirmed to Reuters

The statement came in response to a report by the German newspaper Handelsblatt, which cited EU sources saying the European Commission—the EU's governing body—planned to institute quotas beginning in 2025.

"Generally speaking, the Commission is looking into ways to promote use of low carbon energy and transport, but none of them includes quotas for electric cars," an EU spokesperson told Reuters. "We do not discriminate between different technologies."

The comments were made as Europe continues to reel from the impact of the Volkswagen diesel scandal. The revelation that VW used "defeat devices" to cheat on emissions tests has led to examinations of other automakers, and additional accusations of emissions cheating. Last month, Daimler issued a recall of 3 million diesel cars in Europe to address emissions concerns.

While the EU won't enact electric car sales quotas, some member nations are proposing aggressive action. Motivated by concerns over air pollution, several countries have proposed banning sales of new internal-combustion cars in coming decades. Last month, France announced plans to ban vehicles powered by fossil fuels by 2040, and the U.K., Norway, Germany, and the Netherlands have all proposed or discussed similar bans that could go into effect in the next 25 years or so.

If those bans go into effect, sales of electric cars in Europe will skyrocket, whether the European Union sets quotas or not. Increased concern over emissions and the fallout from the Volkswagen scandal already have internal combustion wobbling on its feet in Europe. Holding off on electric car sales quotas may only buy the ICE one more round.