BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Union plans to introduce an absolute cut-off date after which all manufacturers will have to stop producing combustion-powered cars, the head of its executive Commission said.
Ursula von der Leyen said in an interview with Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung that even though a dozen European carmakers had already announced they would switch to zero-emissions cars between 2028 and 2035, a legal cut-off date was still needed.
"We will still set out an end date after which, all cars will have to be emissions free," she said, without naming that date. "Otherwise there will be a lack of certainty and we won't achieve our goal of climate neutrality by 2050."
The European Commission on Wednesday unveils its "Fit for 50" package of proposals which, if approved by the 27 member states, would put the bloc - the world's third-largest economy - on track to meet its 2030 goal of reducing planet-warming emissions by 55% from 1990 levels.
The package being released will face months of negotiations between member states and the European Parliament and is likely to be the target of ferocious lobbying efforts by the many industries affected.
(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Marguerita Choy)