Europe could delay ban on petrol and diesel vehicles to follow the UK's lead, Porsche chief says

Europe could delay ban on petrol and diesel vehicles to follow the UK's lead, Porsche chief says

Rishi Sunak delivers speech delaying 2030 petrol and diesel car ban

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 25/01/2024

- 16:33

'There’s a lot of discussions right now around the end of the combustion engine'

Europe could follow the UK in delaying its ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, according to a senior chief at Porsche.

Lutz Meschke, chief financial officer at Porsche AG, has suggested that Europe could perform a U-turn on its aim to phase out new internal combustion engine vehicles.

At present, the European Union is aiming to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035 in a bid to slash emissions from the transport sector and reach net zero targets in 2050.

According to Bloomberg, a slowdown of electric vehicle orders could impact the block’s ability to meet the lofty targets.

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Cars in traffic

The Porsche CFO suggested that laws could change to delay the existing 2035 ban


Complaints about EVs include the lack of a reliable charging network across the continent, high upfront costs for new vehicles and a drop in the number of EV grants and incentives.

Commenting on the impending ban, Lutz Meschke said: “There’s a lot of discussions right now around the end of the combustion engine.

“I think it could be delayed,” he said at an event in Singapore on Thursday.

This would bring Europe into line with the UK after a major policy change announced last year.

Last September, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak held a surprise press conference to roll back a number of net zero pledges, including the car ban.

He announced that he would be delaying the deadline to phase out the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles from 2030 to 2035.

The Prime Minister said the UK would be a “world leader” when it comes to electric vehicles but that some measures needed to change to ensure success.

Rishi Sunak continued, saying: “People are already choosing electric vehicles to such an extent that we’re registering a new one every 60 seconds.

“But I also think that at least for now, it should be you the consumer that makes that choice, not Government forcing you to do it.

“Because the upfront cost is still high – especially for families struggling with the cost of living. Small businesses are worried about the practicalities.

“And we’ve got further to go to get that charging infrastructure truly nationwide.”

He said the move to ban to 2035 would put the UK in line with nations like Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Australia, Canada and Sweden.

At the time this was met with criticism from the automotive industry arguing that the Government had backtracked on important net zero pledges.

Despite this, investment has continued with the UK welcoming £23.7billion in public and private funding last year, more than the previous seven years combined.


Jeremy Hunt and Rishi Sunak at the Sunderland EV factory

Nissan announced a further £2billion boost to its EV factory in Sunderland


This was headlined by Nissan’s massive £2billion investment into its Sunderland electric vehicle plant in November.

As part of the funding boost, Nissan will produce two new electric vehicles in the UK with the Qashqai and Juke in addition to the continued production of the all-electric Leaf.

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