EU agrees on 37.5% car emissions reduction target

by James Attwood, Autocar UK 19 Dec 2018


The European Union (EU) has agreed to cut carbon emissions from cars by 37.5 percent within a decade.

The new targets are part of a wide EU push to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030, but there has long been a divide between lawmakers and countries with large car industries – particularly Germany – over the targets to set for car emissions. 

The European Parliament agreed a compromise on Monday to set a 2030 target of reducing car emissions by 37.5 percent compared with 2021. Van emissions will be reduced by 31 percent over the same time frame. The EU Parliament had initially wanted a 40 percent cut, while the original EU executive proposal was a reduction of 30 percent. 

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) last month warned that a then-planned target of a 35 percent reduction between 2021 and 2030 would force firms to focus on electric cars to meet the requirements. It added that this could have an impact on jobs as demand for locally produced combustion engines fell.

According to EU data, the average emission level of a new car sold in 2017 was 118.5g/km of CO2, a decrease of 22g/km from 2010 levels. The car industry had already been set a target to reduce emission levels to a fleet average of 95g/km by 2021 with fines of €95 (£85/ Rs 7,564) for each g/km a fleet average is exceeded by.

The 2021 targets are reportedly already proving a challenge for some car firms to meet, particularly because the introduction of the tougher WLTP emissions test procedure has increased the recorded CO2 emissions of a number of vehicles.

The German automobile association (VDA) told Reuters that while the new legislation would set tough targets, it provided few incentives for drivers to switch to electric vehicles.

Also read: New car CO2 emissions hit highest point since 2013

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