The European Parliament voted on Wednesday to end the marketing of thermal engine models from 2035. A resolution that manufacturers had been waiting for for several months.
They did not wait for the final vote in the European Parliament on Wednesday. Since the announcement of the plan to ban the sale of thermal vehicles in Europe in 2035, in mid-July 2021, and while warning of the difficulties of switching to all-electric, many manufacturers have begun a broad shift towards car zero emissions.
Thus, most major groups have for a year announced the ambition to no longer offer series without petrol or diesel and without hybrids in Europe. A transition that will often take place before 2035. These decisions should make it possible to optimize the electric car’s development costs – by consolidating sales – while reducing or even eliminating investments in the development of internal combustion engines and pollution. However, the US, China and other markets will still need internal combustion motor vehicles by 2035.
Renault and Peugeot 100% electric by 2030
If he is one of the leaders of the most critical manufacturers on the mandatory switch to electric, Carlos Tavares has taken it no less. In March, the CEO of Stellantis announced that by 2030, the group will only market 100% electric vehicles.
“All launches in Europe will be 100% electric vehicles from 2026,” Carlos Tavares said at the time.
The thermal areas will thus fade out little by little. Some brands will even take the leap much earlier.
Like Maserati, the very first of the group’s fourteen brands to launch only 100% electric vehicles from 2024. It’s the premium manufacturers of Stellantis that are switching to ‘zero emissions’. The new DS models from 2024, Lancia in 2026 and Alfa Romeo in 2027.
Generalist brands will go completely electric from 2028, with Opel, then Peugeot and Fiat in 2030. The exception that proves the rule: Citroën. The leaders of the chevron brand have announced their intention to put an end to thermal engines, but without providing a precise schedule. Awaiting a switch to 100% electric, the entire Citroën series will be the least electrified (ie at least hybrid) from 2025.
Within the other French group, Renault, the switch to electricity has accelerated since last year. A pioneer in the electric car, Renault will first market this type of vehicle in 2030 in Europe. Alpine sports brand will begin its conversion much earlier: by 2025, the three models will be electric. Only Dacia – although the brand is marketing the spring – has not yet announced a complete zero-emission shift. Its price positioning weighs in this decision, the electrical technology currently always remains more expensive than the thermal one.
Among the other generalist brands, Volvo in 2025 and Ford in 2030 will only offer electric cars on the old continent.
Others have so far been more hesitant. Hyundai was thus delayed and until now was betting on 2040 for only sales in electric, according to market developments. A calendar now changed according to the latest European decision, but also by the appetite of consumers. Since January, 40% of the cars ordered at Hyundai have actually been electric cars.
By September 2021, the sister brand Kia had confirmed its exit from Thermal in 2035. The Japanese Toyota, a pioneer in the hybrid, had not given any strategic plan to leave Thermal in Europe. The brand has only started offering 100% electric cars.
More wait-and-see prizes
This wait-and-see attitude is also found among German and sports brands. Synthetic fuel, taking into account rechargeable hybrid engines, the German brands have put forward many solutions to not completely interrupt the heat engine, even though they work very much in parallel on the electric one, like Porsche or BMW.
So it is with Volkswagen. The German group has announced a plan of 89 billion euros for the electric car over the next five years, but the schedule is increasingly vague around the arrival of a range without a heat engine. In the German press last summer, VW sales director Klaus Zellmer reckoned that 2033 to 2035 would leave this market. A first step would take place in 2030 with the goal of achieving 70% of sales in 100% electricity in Europe.
The Volkswagen Group’s premium brand, Audi, had provided a slightly clearer timetable: Audi aims to sell only electric vehicles by 2033, but will stop developing new thermal engines for Europe from 2026.
Mercedes, on the other hand, expects that by 2030 it will only sell electric cars such as the Bentley and Mini on the British side. Five years after Jaguar.
Overall, while some brands will continue to develop thermal models for non-European markets, all or almost all will offer electric models. Even Rolls Royce. In 2023, the ultra-luxury UK brand will unveil Specter, its first 100% electric production model.