The EU's plan to drastically reduce the share of internal combustion cars in Europe does not please everyone. The Czech Republic's prime minister has now announced that he will vote against the ban on the sale of cars that run on fossil fuels. This could put the EU's timetable in jeopardy, as all 27 states would have to agree to the ban.
One-fifth of EU-wide exhaust emissions come from traffic. That is why the EU is planning to phase out the internal combustion engine with its "Fit for 55" programme: by 2030, emissions are to be reduced by 55 percent compared to 1990. By 2035, only emission-free cars are to be allowed for sale throughout the EU. But not everyone wants to go along. Italy had already announced last week that it would seek exemptions for its sports car manufacturers Lamborghini and Ferrari. Now the Czech Republic also wants to oppose the EU plans.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has declared war on the ambitious EU programme. Opposition to the ban is also to be a focus of the Czech presidency in the second half of 2022. Babiš wants to adapt the infrastructure to the requirements of electric vehicles, but not to financially support their production. Yet his country is one of the largest automotive locations in the world, measured by the number of inhabitants. More than 150,000 people work in production or at supplier companies. 20 percent of Czech production and exports depend on the automotive industry. Babiš is then also ostensibly worried about jobs in this sector.
However, the upcoming elections to the Chamber of Deputies on 8 and 9 October 2021 and the accompanying election campaign will probably strengthen the tone from Prague. His announcements are probably also about winning over EU opponents as voters and not necessarily only supporters of the combustion engine. After all, car companies such as Skoda, which belongs to the Volkswagen group, or Toyota or Hyundai have long since declared their support for alternative fuel models. These manufacturers already have many electric models in their range, and they are continuously expanding it. In the next ten to 20 years, according to analysts, the demand for combustion models will decline drastically. More and more regions and cities are also deciding to introduce environmental zones in which combustion vehicles are made more difficult to enter, if not banned altogether.
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