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News article28 March 2023Directorate-General for Climate Action

Fit for 55: EU reaches new milestone to make all new cars and vans zero-emission from 2035

The Commission welcomes the final adoption today by the EU Member States of the European Commission’s proposal to make all new cars and vans registered in Europe zero-emission from 2035.

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The agreement, which was reached by the European Parliament and Council in October of last year, can now enter into force following the formal approval of both co-legislators. This milestone marks the first step in the adoption of the ‘Fit for 55’ legislative proposals presented by the Commission in July 2021 to deliver the European Green Deal.

Transport is responsible for one quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions in the EU, and road transport makes up 70% of that amount. Stricter CO2 emission performance standards for new cars and vans will bring down those emissions, helping Europe reach climate neutrality by 2050. It will also help tackle air pollution across the Union and keep the automotive industry innovative and competitive with the rest of the world. As an intermediary step towards zero emissions, the new CO2 standards will also require average emissions of new cars to come down by 55% by 2030, and new vans by 50% by 2030.

Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans said following the Council vote: “The final vote today marks an important step towards zero-emission mobility in the EU. The direction of travel is clear: in 2035, new cars and vans must have zero emissions. The new rules on CO2-emissions from cars and vans are a key part of the European Green Deal and will be a big contribution to our target of being climate neutral by 2050.”

In a statement accompanying the vote, the European Commission has committed to submit proposals to give effect to the co-legislator’s request in the Regulation for enabling the registration of cars and vans exclusively running on carbon-neutral fuels after 2035, as stipulated in recital 11 of the adopted Regulation. These proposals will be in line with the adopted Regulation and the usual decision-making procedures.

Next steps

The new legislation will be published in the Official Journal of the Union and enter into force.


The European Green Deal is the EU's long-term growth strategy to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050. Making all new cars and vans zero-emission by 2035 is crucial to Europe becoming the world's first climate neutral continent by 2050 and making the European Green Deal a reality. The legislative tools are set to deliver on the targets agreed in the European Climate Law and fundamentally transform our economy and society for a fair, green and prosperous future.

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Publication date
28 March 2023
Directorate-General for Climate Action