BERLIN (Dispatches) - German carmaker Volkswagen (VW) has announced it will stop selling combustion engine cars in Europe by 2035 as it shifts to electric vehicles. The automaker’s entire fleet is planned to be carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest.
According to Volkswagen’s board member for sales, Klaus Zellmer, the company will “exit the business with internal combustion engine cars in Europe between 2033 and 2035.” Zellmer, who was interviewed by German newspaper Muenchner Merkur, added that it would take longer to stop selling combustion engines in the U.S. and China – that will come “somewhat later.” As for South America and Africa, these regions “will take a good deal longer,” he said.
Zellmer also said that he wants electric vehicles to account for 70% of the company’s total sales in Europe by 2030.
VW’s announcement comes amid reports that new cars powered by diesel and gasoline could be barred by the EU in an effort to meet a zero-emissions target for vehicles sold beyond 2035.
Some European countries already have their own targets for banning traditional gas-powered vehicles. Norway is aiming for 2025 and France is looking at 2040, while the United Kingdom is planning the end of the road for such vehicles by 2050.
Automaker Ford said earlier this year that it will only sell electric vehicles in Europe by 2030, while Honda announced plans to phase out gas-powered cars by 2040.