Ford’s European division and Volvo Cars have joined a petition alongside 28 other large companies in a petition for the EU to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035.

The manufacturers are also asking for mandatory targets for charging infrastructure to be established so that EV drivers can access widespread, reliable charging. Ford has also revealed that it will be introducing seven new electric vehicles and vans by 2024, with Volvo also pledging to become an EV-only manufacturer by 2030.

The appeal, which has been organised by the Climate Group organisation, states that removing petrol and diesel cars from the EU’s roads is imperative for Europe to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

A joint letter has been sent to the EU Parliament and EU governments to support the European Commission’s proposed phase-out of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035.

In it, the signatories say: “Policies put in place in the next few years will decide whether the world has a fighting chance to curb climate change.

“In the EU, the ‘Fit for 55’ climate package will determine whether Europe is on track to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and fulfil its obligations under the Paris Agreement. It will also determine the future of one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases and air pollution on the continent — cars and vans.

“Together, passenger cars and light commercial vehicles are responsible for 15 per cent of all Europe’s CO2 emissions.

“To enable all cars and vans on the road to reach zero emissions by 2050, the last car with any combustion engine, including hybrids, should be sold no later than 2035.

“Over a dozen car brands have voluntarily pledged to only sell electric cars in Europe in the next decade. We need European decision-makers to recognise this ambition but ensure laggards don’t delay the market shift.”

Stuart Rowley, chairman of Ford of Europe, said: “At Ford in Europe, we believe that freedom of movement goes hand in hand with caring for our planet and each other.

“That’s why we are targeting all Ford vehicles to be zero-emission by 2035. To successfully achieve this, EU policymakers must also establish mandatory national targets for a seamless electric charging infrastructure that lives up to the growing demand for electric vehicles.”

Volvo Cars chief executive Jim Rowan said: “Volvo Cars plans to become a fully electric car company by 2030 and supports the end of fossil fuel vehicle sales in Europe by 2035.

“This would not only be in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, which require 100 per cent zero tailpipe emission vehicle sales in Europe by 2035, but it’s just the right thing to do.

“The window for us to avoid the worst impacts of global warming is rapidly closing. At this critical moment, now is the time for the EU to reaffirm its leadership in climate action.”