Phasing-out sales of internal combustion engine vehicles

The objective of this study is to provide a first assessment of the legal scope for EU or national measures to phase-out ICE vehicles and to identify issues where legal uncertainty remains and further investigation is needed. Vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE) currently represent the most prevalent form of road transport but their emissions have significant impacts on the environment and health. The transport sector represents more than a quarter of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions, with over 70% of transport emissions coming from road transport. ICE vehicles are also key sources of air pollution, such as particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). In response to these concerns, a number of national and local governments around the world have in the last few years begun to announce measures to phase-out ICE vehicles. In Europe, authorities in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Norway have declared their intention to implement bans on the sale or registration of new ICE vehicles with starting dates ranging from 2030 to 2040. Moreover, many countries have already adopted purchase or tax incentive programs for electric vehicles (EV): 24 Member States currently offer some form of tax incentive, while 12 offer bonus payments or premiums to buyers.

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