Traffic jam on a highway near Los Angeles
Photo: MIKE BLAKE / REUTERS
The largest car market in the USA is putting an end to diesel and gasoline: In the state of California, no new vehicles with combustion engines will be allowed to be sold from 2035 - Governor Gavin Newsom has announced.
From this point onwards, only new cars that no longer emit any exhaust gases may be sold.
Newsom said cars shouldn't help children develop asthma, nor should they melt glaciers or contribute to sea level rise.
The governor’s decision is far-reaching for the auto industry, with California accounting for 11 percent of the nation’s vehicle sales and one of the largest economies in the world when separated from the rest of the US.
At the same time, California is not alone with this decision, more and more states are giving the internal combustion engine an end date.
Norway, France and Great Britain, for example, want to say goodbye to the internal combustion engine, albeit at different speeds.
While Norway does not want to allow new combustion cars from 2025, France is planning this step for 2040. Great Britain also originally planned to say goodbye to combustion engines in 2040, but now wants to bring it forward to 2035.
However, such a step could also be necessary for EU countries that have not yet decided to say goodbye to combustion engines.
Because the EU wants to become climate neutral by 2050.
In order to achieve this goal, the last combustion engine would have to roll off the assembly line by 2040 at the latest, due to the often at least ten-year lifespan of a car - provided that alternative fuels cannot help vehicles achieve a CO2-neutral future.
Even earlier, manufacturers needed more and more vehicles with low CO2 emissions in order to comply with the increasingly stringent EU limits - which are now to be tightened again.
The EU wants to reduce the average CO2 emissions of the manufacturers' vehicle fleets by 50 percent instead of 37.5 by 2030.
This goal will accelerate the departure from the internal combustion engine even without a fixed departure date, because the manufacturers need an electric car share of around 50 percent.
Achieving this is a difficult task for all classic manufacturers, says Klaus Schmitz from the Arthur D. Little consultancy.
"But this challenge is more feasible than it seems to many today," said Schmitz.
In the factories of Mercedes, BMW and Volkswagen, however, the prospect of an end to the core of German automotive art also triggers fears.
Depending on how the transformation goes, tens of thousands of jobs are at stake.
Whether the economic transition to a new automotive world succeeds also depends on how many parts of the production chain for electric cars are located in Europe.
Which countries want to put an end to the combustion engine and when?
Here is the overview:
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