How Countries are Responding to Bans on Petrol Car Manufacture

Following the EU's production ban on combustion engine cars, how are European countries reacting?

The European Union (EU) announced last month that it intends to ban the production of internal combustion engine (ICE) cars by 2035. Following a successful proposal for the 100% reduction of tailpipe emissions, the response from European countries has varied in enthusiasm. See below for the reactions of some of Europe’s largest producers. 


The largest producer of cars in Europe, and dependent upon its automotive industry for much of its economic power, Germany has objected to the proposed manufacturing ban. Approximately 750,000 people in Germany work in the automobile manufacturing sector and the country has shared its concerns regarding the impact a ban may have on these jobs and the economy as a whole.

The government has stated its belief that other countries (such as China) would simply take advantage of the ban to produce petrol cars for countries that have not yet phased them out – effectively pushing these jobs offshore.


The home of several luxury car manufacturers such as Ferrari and Lamborghini, Italy has also objected to a complete ban on production of new ICE vehicles. While supercar producers that make fewer than 10,000 vehicles per year have been granted an exception to the rule, Italy remains displeased with the decision. 

Along with Portugal, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania, Italy wishes to delay the deadline to 2040. While this delay has not been approved, the EU has granted the potential use of cars running on synthetic fuels, which could potentially appease Italian car producers. 


In contrast with the above countries, Sweden has not objected to the ban. In fact, it plans to beat other countries to the punch by eliminating emissions from new vehicles by 2030. Currently, almost one third of cars sold in Sweden are electric vehicles. Many Scandinavian countries, particularly Norway, have gained a head start to achieving a zero-emissions target through, amongst other things, extensive electric vehicle charging infrastructure yet to be adopted to the same extent in other parts of Europe. 

While the EU’s proposal has not yet been mandated, most EU nations have voted overwhelmingly in its favour.

The timing of the flow-on effect that the mandate will have on the retail fuel sector remains to be seen, however. 

Any company that fails to plan for this brave new world will be left behind – and any analysis required in the reshaping of business models must be underpinned by access to reliable and accurate data.

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