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EU set to call time on combustion engine within two decades

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The European Union is set to propose measures on Wednesday, as part of a broad climate package, that signal the end of petrol (gasoline) and diesel car sales within 20 years, and accelerate a switch to electric propulsion, according to Reuters. 

Many carmakers have already announced huge investments in electrification, partly in anticipation of tougher emissions targets, but want to know whether the EU will back them by building public charging stations, and how soon it wants hybrid electric/combustion vehicles to be phased out.

Last month, Volkswagen AG said it would stop selling cars with combustion engines in Europe by 2035, and somewhat later in China and the United States, as part of its shift to electric vehicles and last week Stellantis, the world’s No. 4 automaker, said it would invest more than 30 billion euros by 2025 on electrifying its line-up.

Despite the advances, EU emissions from road transport have increased in recent years, and the new measures aim to pull the sector in line with the bloc’s overall strategy of getting to net zero emissions by 2050.

The EU executive, the European Commission, will present binding emission targets that in effect make it impossible to sell new fossil-fuel-powered vehicles in the 27-country bloc from either 2035 or 2040, according to sources familiar with the discussions.

An existing target of a 37.5% reduction in CO2 emissions from current levels by 2030 is expected to be replaced by a cut of between 50% and 65%.