A change at the top of European institutions could herald a change in the 2035 target to phase out sales of internal combustion engine cars even though the automotive industry is already well down the road toward transitioning to electric vehicles.

Following lengthy negotiations, European Union member states reached a historic agreement in 2022: from Jan. 1, 2035 the only new cars that can be sold in the bloc are those with no tailpipe CO2 emissions.

Thus in slightly more than a decade there will be no more petrol and diesel cars in showrooms, with sales limited to battery electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles.