Insane EU emissions proposal would require people to buy new cars instead of maintaining existing ones
03/04/2024 // Cassie B. // Views

Just when you thought the climate change cabal couldn’t get any more preposterous, the European Commission comes up with a proposal to restrict repairs on vehicles that are older than 15 years. This would essentially force people into buying new cars instead of maintaining their existing ones and put the car repair and secondhand vehicle sales industries in jeopardy.

The proposal comes from the European Commission and has not yet been ratified. It aims to phase out older vehicles for newer models in the name of protecting the environment. It introduces the concept of “residual vehicles,” which are those that experience breakdowns related to major parts such as the transmission, chassis, engine, brakes or steering wheel and are upwards of 15 years.

The regulation also outlines specific circumstances under which a car can be deemed residual or technically not repairable, such as being submerged, burned, welded or cut, or possessing technical defects that cannot be reversed. Once a car has been slapped with the “residual” label, it can no longer undergo significant repairs and cannot be resold; it can only be scrapped. One of the more controversial aspects of the proposal is that vehicles that need major parts replaced or whose repair costs exceed their market value may also be classified as residual.

This aligns with the European Union’s ambitious “Fit for 55” program, which is aimed at reducing direct transport emissions from their 1990 levels by 55% by the year 2030 and eliminating them entirely by 2050. As part of this goal, they are seeking to ban new combustion engine cars starting in 2035, with exceptions only being made for vehicles that run on any potential synthetic fuels that may be used in the future.

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So far, however, uptake on no-emission and low-emission vehicles in Europe has been hugely disappointing, and most countries have a lot of older vehicles on the road. The driving culture in much of Europe is very different from that in America, and when you factor in the higher cost of fuel there, many people hold onto their cars for as long as possible and view them solely as a way to get from one point to another.

In Spain, the average vehicle age is more than 14 years; more than 47% of cars there are older than 15. In Germany, the average vehicle age is 10 years, while France’s average age is also higher. As a result, the European Commission believes that measures to reduce car longevity should be introduced.

Manufacturing new vehicles will create more emissions than running older ones

Critics contend that forcing people to buy new vehicles instead of taking care of the ones they currently have ignores the fact that the carbon dioxide emissions that are produced by running vehicles, even those with fossil fuels, are significantly lower than the emissions involved in manufacturing new vehicles regardless of how they are powered. It will also see plenty of viable vehicles ending up in scrapyards. In addition, there are concerns from classic car enthusiasts and those in the historic vehicle industry that it would put an end to these vehicles, compromising the preservation of automotive heritage.

Car makers and climate change activists continue to be worried about the slow uptake of electric vehicles in Europe, with analysts citing economic uncertainty, low residual values and doubts among consumers about the range and safety of these vehicles as the reasons they are so unpopular.

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