Europe Is Waging War On The Internal Combustion Engine

Europe is waging a war on the internal combustion engine as part of the region’s broader crusade against man-made global warming.

France, Germany and the U.K. are leading a Europe-wide push to phase out gasoline- and diesel-powered cars in the coming years and replace them with electric and hybrid vehicles. The recent anti-internal combustion engine craze has got automakers worried.

On Tuesday, the European Commission released initiatives to cut carbon dioxide emissions for new cars and trucks, mandating engines emit 30 percent less by 2030 than they will in 2021.

The Commission’s goal is to “curb transport emissions to fight the dangers of climate change,” according to a press release of the transportation plan meant to comply with the Paris accord and other climate goals.

And that’s just the latest episode in Europe’s crusade against gasoline-powered cars.

France and the U.K. plan to ban gas and diesel vehicles by 2040. Both countries say moving to zero-emissions vehicles, like electric cars, will improve air quality in cities and fight global warming.

The transportation sector accounts for about one-quarter of Europe’s carbon dioxide emissions, and major cities, like London and Paris, have some of the worst air pollution problems in Europe.

The UK has been sued three times in recent years for allowing air pollution levels to breach legal limits. Activists filed suit against the government on Tuesday, building on two previous suits that will eventually result in more environmental regulations.

European leaders want to create a system that incentivizes hybrid and electric vehicles. EU officials paired their emissions plan with a battery of legislative and regulatory proposals to promote alternatives to the internal combustion engine.

“Our targets are ambitious, cost-effective and enforceable,” Miguel Arias Cañete, the European Union’s climate action commissioner said in a statement. “With the 2030 targets, we are giving stability and direction to keep up these investments.”

European cities have also moved forward with plans to get rid of gas and diesel cars.

Paris plans on banning gas-and-diesel-powered cars by 2030. Copenhagen will ban diesel vehicles in 2019, and the city of Oxford wants to only allow electric vehicles in its city center. German cities in the heart of Europe’s auto industry have also contemplated bans on diesel cars.

“It’s not a human right to pollute the air for others,” Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen said in October. “That’s why diesel cars must be phased out.”

For decades, Europe put in place policies that promoted diesel engines over traditional gasoline engines. But the Volkswagen emissions scandal in 2015 was the final straw, and European officials began aggressively pushing for policies to get rid of the very engine most residents had come to rely on for their livelihoods.

These bans are bad news for European automakers. BBC News reports German automakers lobbied the EU to water down its latest plan to cut transportation emissions.

German car manufacturers do produce electric vehicles and hybrids, but the bulk of their sales still revolve around gas and diesel vehicles.

Diesel vehicles are more fuel efficient and emit less carbon dioxide than gasoline-powered cars. EU regulators have even warned that banning diesel vehicles outright would hamper their ability to push more electric vehicles.

“While I am convinced that we should rapidly head for zero-emission vehicles in Europe, policymakers and industry cannot have an interest in a rapid collapse of the diesel market in Europe as a result of local driving bans,” Elzbieta Bienkowska, the EU’s industry commissioner, wrote in a letter to transportation ministers.

“It would only deprive the industry of necessary funds to invest in zero-emissions vehicles,” she wrote in July, according to Reuters.

Electric car sales were up 54 percent in June, but electric vehicles still only made up 1.5 percent of overall sales. Diesel vehicles still make up about half of new car sales in Europe, though its share has come down in recent years as more efficient gasoline cars hit the market.

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Comments (12)

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    And all this based upon fake and tampered data and junk science the Euroweenies are leading the world back to the stone age

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    Sonnyhill

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    Electric vehicles can be called zero – emissions if they are charged solely by wind, solar or hydro. Even then, renewables do have serious environmental impact.

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    BillD

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    EVs are the equivalent of 40 to 45 miles per gallon if the electricity comes mostly from coal. In that case, my hybrid, which gets about 52 miles per gallon is better. In regions with a lot of renewable, including hydro, the numbers are much better. The US Northwest and Norway, where electricity has a bit hydro component, EVs are equivalent (in CO2 emissions) to 100-150 miles per gallon.

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    • Avatar

      John

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      If you forget the environmental impact of constructing wind turbines, solar cells and batteries. And to dispose of them properly, batteries produce a lot of chemical waste.

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      • Avatar

        John

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        Plus since when is CO2 a problem?
        Without this life bringing gas there would be no life on this planet.
        Do not forget that.

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  • Avatar

    Sonnyhill

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    Excuse me for not caring, but CO2 is the last thing on my mind when driving my F150.
    Calculating your carbon footprint might be an all-consuming hobby, but why should I join in?
    If I moved to Niagara Falls and bought an EV I will have done nothing for the environment but I would look golden to a bunch of fools that I can’t stand.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Spurwing Plover

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    Enviromentalisms a form of stupidity that make persons do stupid things like climb up into trees sail around on ice bergs and phase our fossil fuels on a whim from eco-idiots

    Reply

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    David Lewis

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    I propose another measurement for the impact of driving vehicles. Do you feel good about it? BILLD feels good about his hybrid because of its CO2 emissions. I feel good when driving my 45o horse power Pontiac because I know its emission have zero impact on climate change. However, I would feel guilty if I drove an electric vehicle because of the child labor and severe environmental impact of providing the metals for its batteries.

    On another note, climate change advocates have often said it would create jobs and economic prosperity. I wonder how the tens of thousands of Europeans who are going to be laid off from the auto industry will feel about that.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Tom Clark

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    They will all be employed building all the nuclear power stations that will be required to charge all the EVs and keep the lights on.

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    • Avatar

      David Lewis

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      It doesn’t work that way. People who lose their jobs in one industry rarely get hired in another that is on the up swing. How many coal miners that were unemployed by Obama’s mandates found jobs in green industries?

      It would be good if you were right about nuclear power. Don’t forget that Europe is moving away from it. Germany is shutting down all of its nuclear power plants.

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Sonnyhill

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        In the view from their ivory towers, workers are faceless pawns in a board game. Consider that a tradesman could lose his long time job at BMW but find part time work landscaping. Statistics would portray that as a “wash” .
        Siemens is cutting thousands of jobs in its gas turbine business, coinciding with government cutbacks to Green energy installations. All those windmills and solar panels needed fossil-fueled generators to fix the dependability conundrum. The percentage of Green electricity is going to hit a wall very soon. Financial reality can be ignored, but not for long.

        Reply

  • Avatar

    Sonnyhill

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    I suggest that EV charging stations must be located only at wind and solar “farms” . Then the vehicle owners would share the impact and inconvenience with country folk. Bring some reading material, lunch, toilet paper etc in case the wind dies down or the sun sets. In return, they could claim that their virtue-vehicle really is divorced from coal and oil.

    Reply

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