Written By Suzanne Stougie
First the European Union, now New Jersey… The world is swiftly following California’s lead, aiming for zero emissions from new cars and vans by 2035. In this blog post, we’re taking a look at the latest headlines, heralding the end of combustion engines the world over. And what’s needed to actually get us there.
Close up of an electric car charging station, Photographed by Ivan Radic for Wikimedia Commons
It’s been a promising week for our climate, and a wonderful one for the EV. On Tuesday, the European Parliament voted for a ban on gasoline and diesel engines in new cars and light duty vehicles from 2035 in all 27 EU countries. Just a day later, governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey announced his plans to accelerate the state’s zero emissions target, aiming for 100% clean energy and therefore prohibiting the sales of new ICE cars.
In Europe, the ban has caused quite a stir. In car-manufacturing giant Germany, workers fear for their jobs as carmakers such as Volkswagen prepare to electrify their output. In fact, Ford Motor already announced hefty job cuts in their European work force, hitting Germany and the UK the hardest. Although it is expected that the switch to electric cars and trucks will increase the number of green jobs significantly by 2035, this is hardly going to soften the blow for those who stand to lose their jobs in the very near future.
Meanwhile, if we really want to outlaw greenhouse gas emitting new cars in the next 12 years, there are many steps to take. Here’s a – by no means exhaustive – list of changes needed. Quickly.
  • Increase production of EVs to enable a growth is annual sales from 800,000 in 2022 (US sales) to 15 million
  • Upgrade the electricity grid to accommodate the extra power needed to charge tens of millions of electric cars
  • Expand green ways to generate the necessary electricity: wind, solar, nuclear and hydropower
  • Invest in a pervasive charging network to rival the ubiquitous gas station
  • Plan for plenty of charging points in new buildings: from offices to multi-units dwellings and malls
  • Train enough charging point maintenance staff to maintain and repair EV chargers
  • Expand the range of budget-friendly EVs to make them more accessible to lower income workers
As the authors of a University of California, Berkeley study stated in their 2035 Report 2.0, with the right policy and the joint efforts of local, state and federal governments, carmakers, and utilities, all this can indeed be achieved. Amol Phadke, researcher at the University of California and co-author of the report: “It’s not going to be easy, but it’s achievable.”