Anything to supposedly save the climate.
It’s finally happened: European Parliament gave its final approval to ban the sale of new vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2035. Many people might be under the mistaken impression this was already a done deal, however the move was made recently on February 14. Before that the ban was talked about, the different EU member states approved the legislation for the ban, but it wasn’t a done deal.
Learn why so many electric cars rust rapidly here.
Lest you think everyone’s onboard with this plan, France 24 noted conservative MEPs have opposed it and they’re the biggest group in EU Parliament. However, their pushback wasn’t enough to stop others from sliding it through, all with the vision of getting gas and diesel cars off European roads by sometime around 2050.
Of course, a lot can happen between now and 2035. Just look at what the world has been through in the last three years, then imagine how much things might shift in the next 12. While supporters of this move think it will obviously force automakers to churn out electric cars, they might have an oversimplistic view of how things work.
Just because a law is passed doesn’t mean real-world obstacles to mass vehicle electrification are automatically eliminated. Oftentimes, those who have a more authoritarian mindset believe all private industry needs to make things happen is the right stick being waved at their backside by the government. It’s again a wonderfully simplistic way of looking at things.
What’s more, history is littered with countless examples of the unintended consequences brought about by government interventions. This move could encourage people to hang onto their gas-burning cars for longer than they currently do. It could cause economically crippling transportation problems for Europe. Or there might be other consequences nobody could have predicted. Sometimes government regulation is like that box of chocolates, only it’s not a ganache or crème center you’re going to bite into.
Just look at Europe’s disastrous energy policies which led it to become so dependent on Russia, only for that to blow up in their faces when the Ukraine War broke out. It’s entirely possible this ban will have to be reversed, although with the EU’s track record on not walking back the senseless decision to shutter nuclear power plants and instead fire up the coal-burning facilities, you just never know what they might do next.
Images via Porsche, Mercedes-Benz