Content updated 26 April 2023

Legislation and new standards for light-duty vehicles

In March 2023, a regulation on ending sales of new combustion engine cars and vans was approved by the Member States. From 2035, all cars and vans sold in the EU must have 100% CO2 emission reductions.

Passenger cars and vans ('light commercial vehicles') are respectively responsible for around 12% and 2.5% of total EU emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Under the regulation, new cars must achieve 55% CO2 emission reductions from 2030 to 2034 compared to 2021. Vans must achieve a 50% emission reduction.

The EU will become the largest economy to phase out sales of polluting vehicles.

The regulation keeps a derogation for small-volume manufacturers, such as certain sports car brands, exempting them from meeting the interim CO2 reductions until the end of 2035.

The new rules aim to encourage more competition and encourage manufacturers to invest in research and innovation into electric vehicles, which should drive the purchase price down.

Quality standards

The Commission has also proposed the so-called Euro 7 emission standards, aiming to achieve new stricter air quality standards. The standards would also apply to heavy-duty vehicles.