End to combustion car sales – final decision by the European Union

On 28 March 2023, the Council of Europe adopted a regulation that will ban the sales of new cars with internal combustion engines (petrol and diesel) in the European Union countries. The ban will apply from 2035. An exception to the ban will be made for vehicles powered by carbon-neutral e-fuel.

It should, however, be emphasised that the regulation adopted by the European Union allows for the further use of internal combustion cars by driving them and selling second-hand cars, whereas those who decide to buy a new car after 2035 will only have electric and hydrogen cars to choose from.

The introduction of this ban results from the ‘Fit for 55%’ package adopted in July 2021 by the European Commission. The package is a set of interlinked proposals which together are intended to ensure that the European Union’s ambitious climate policy is achieved by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. The European Union regulation on the reduction of CO2 emissions for new cars and vans is one of many acts in this package.

Bearing in mind the climate change and the growing interest in low- and zero-emission vehicles in the west, the Polish government has introduced a range of privileges and benefits for owners of these types of cars, i.e:

  • the possibility of obtaining a subsidy for the purchase of a new electric car (up to PLN 27 000 for individuals and PLN 70 000 for entrepreneurs),
  • exemption from excise duty,
  • higher depreciation limits,
  • free parking in cities (based on local regulations),
  • the right to drive on bus lanes designated to improve urban transport slowed down by traffic congestions (until 2025).

These benefits have not just been introduced to reward electric car owners for their contribution to reducing CO2 emissions, but are also intended to encourage the citizens to purchase such vehicles in the future.

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