After 2035, Vehicles in Europe Must Use 100% Carbon-Neutral Fuels for Internal Combustion Engines

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After 2035, vehicles equipped with internal combustion engines (ICEs) in Europe must transition to using 100% carbon-neutral fuels, according to a draft proposal for new legislation. This directive is not as radical as those advocating for a wholesale shift to electric vehicles. Italian sports car manufacturers and the world’s largest automaker, Toyota, are considering the use of new environmentally friendly fuels that do not harm the environment. Starting in 2035, even vehicles powered by such alternative fuels will need to achieve 100% carbon neutrality within the European Union.

This proposal comes as a response to Germany’s attempt to exclude vehicles running on environmentally friendly fuels from the list of vehicles that will be banned from sale in the primary European market after 2035.

In the proposed legislation, vehicles sold in Europe after 2035 that use synthetic fuels with claims of environmental friendliness must still achieve 100% carbon neutrality. In practical terms, this means that while there may be some carbon dioxide emissions when these fuels are burned in ICEs, these emissions must be offset by capturing an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide during the fuel production process.

According to BMW representatives, there are currently over 250 million vehicles on European roads. Transitioning a significant portion of this fleet to carbon-neutral fuels could greatly assist in achieving the decarbonization goals for the transportation sector. BMW’s engines are already adapted to use certified eco-friendly fuels.

However, representatives from companies that produce environmentally friendly fuels have criticized this proposal, stating that achieving zero carbon emissions throughout the entire production process of vehicles and their fuels is not feasible. To sell new vehicles with ICEs in Europe after 2035, manufacturers may be required to introduce a new category of vehicles that are formally certified to operate solely on fuels with full carbon neutrality.

The current draft legislation requires automakers to implement an automatic engine start-up block if non-carbon-neutral fuels are detected, and the methods used to check the chemical composition of the fuels must not leave room for bypassing such blocks. These rules are expected to be refined by the end of the year, taking into account feedback from market participants.

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Vasyl Kolomiiets
Vasyl Kolomiiets
I'm Vasyl Kolomiiets, a seasoned tech journalist regularly contributing to global publications. Having a profound background in information technologies, I seamlessly blended my technical expertise with my passion for writing, venturing into technology journalism. I've covered a wide range of topics including cutting-edge developments and their impacts on society, contributing to leading tech platforms.

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