Europeans favour combustion engine ban

Survey respondents in 15 European cities have supported a combustion engine ban by 2030.
Survey respondents in 15 European cities have supported a combustion engine ban by 2030.

European city-dwellers favour a continental phase-out of combustion engine car sales from 2030 to reduce emissions.

A YouGov poll of 10,050 respondents conducted on behalf of environmental campaigners has found 63 per cent support the idea that within a decade, only emission-free cars should be sold in Europe.

The online poll surveyed people last month in 15 cities including London, Warsaw and Budapest, with an average of 29 per cent opposing the idea of ending petrol and diesel car sales.

Eight per cent said they did not know.

In all cities, a majority of respondents - ranging from 51 per cent in Antwerp and Berlin, to 77 per cent in Rome - supported a ban.

Brussels-based campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E), which commissioned the poll, urged the European Commission to include an end date for combustion car sales in policy proposals due in June.

"People in cities are the most exposed to toxic levels of air pollution and they don't want internal combustion engines to be sold for any longer than is necessary," T&E's senior vehicles director Julia Poliscanova said.

The Commission said in September it would assess "at what point in time internal combustion engines in cars should stop coming to the market" to deliver the EU's 2030 emissions-cutting target.

The EU executive will this year propose tougher car emissions limits and legislation to expand electric charging infrastructure, although a spokesman said cleaner transport proposals will be "technology-neutral".

EU sales of electric and plug-in hybrid cars almost trebled to more than 1 million vehicles in 2020, or more than 10 per cent of overall sales.

Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and six other countries last month urged the Commission to set an EU-wide phase-out date for combustion car sales.

"That date has to be aligned with the objective of climate neutrality by 2050," an EU diplomat from one of the countries said.

"If you take into account the lifetime of cars, then you have to stop adding new (combustion engine) cars to the market in 2030."

Britain, which is no longer an EU member, will ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars and vans in 2030.

Australian Associated Press