The Czech Republic defends its ban on internal combustion engines

People will no longer be able to buy a new car with an internal combustion engine from 2035; the European Parliament approved last week, on a proposal from the European Commission. The Member States will now make the final decision. There are objections from the Czech Republic, France, and Germany.

The Czech Republic is opposed to the proposal and still wants to negotiate the terms and conditions. “We want to deal with a compromise version of the legislation. We will strive at least to ensure that the ban in 2035 is not 100 percent, but 90 percent, “Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) said last Thursday.

According to him, this would make it possible to maintain the possibility of producing cars with combustion engines. “A reasonable, affordable alternative must be provided for citizens,” Fiala added. The decision to ban the plant is ill-timed, ill-thought-out, and not entirely appropriate in the current situation.

A ban on internal combustion engines would apply to newly manufactured cars and light commercial vehicles. People would, therefore, still be able to buy used motor vehicles after 2035. The stricter legislation is part of the Fit for 55 climate package to make the EU carbon neutral by 2050.

Progressive targets for reducing car emissions are also to be tightened. Passenger cars will emit 15% less CO2 in 2025 than in 2021 and 55% less by 2030. In 2035, emissions should be zero, whereas previous plans envisaged a CO2 reduction of “only” 37.5 percent by 2030.

To have enough time

According to Marek Vošáhlík from the press department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Czech Republic will be fine-tuning its member states’ positions on reducing emissions starting in July, when it will hold the EU Council presidency. He said the car industry should be allowed to carry out the transformation without difficulties.

“Czech companies have started to reorient themselves towards producing electric vehicles and their components. Domestic car companies have to comply with the existing EU CO2 emission targets, and they export a substantial part of their production to Western Europe, where the demand for electric vehicles is already higher than in the Czech Republic, “the spokesman noted.

He added that in the first four months of this year, nearly 37,000 passenger electric cars and plug-in hybrids were produced in the Czech Republic, and more than half were battery-only. The share of these cars has thus surpassed the ten-percent mark. While this is a significant increase, it is still only a fraction of the total. However, as standards tighten, e-car sales are expected to grow significantly.

Tens of thousands of chargers

František Jemelka from the press department of the Transport Ministry said the National Action Plan for Clean Mobility, between 19 and 35 thousand charging stations for electric cars should be installed in the Czech Republic by 2030.

“Recently, the pace of construction of charging stations has been accelerating. In the last two years, their number has almost doubled,” he said.

Between 2022 and 2027, six billion crowns, including money from the EU, will go to support charging infrastructure.