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ACEA: Achieving European Vehicle GHG Target Will Require More than Technology

Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of the Fiat Group and current president of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), said that while the European auto industry fully supports the EU objective of reducing car emissions to an average of 120 g/km by 2012, actually achieving that goal will require more than vehicle technology.

He also noted that, since the proposed legislative framework will not be ready until at least 2009, there would be insufficient time to significantly influence the design of cars that will be on the market in 2012, given manufacturers’ lead times.

Everything depends, however, on how this goal [120 g/km] will be achieved. Because, whilst the actual CO2 emissions per vehicle steadily decrease thanks to the many technological improvements by the European car manufacturers, the rise in CO2 emissions from overall traffic has until now at best slowed down. It is very important that governments and the public at large understand these two opposite trends and design a policy that addresses the true challenge.

The future of CO2-emission reductions lays to a much lesser extent than before in technological improvements: significant progress has been made through new engine technologies, cleaner fuels and better fuel-efficiency. The average level of CO2 emissions from new cars has been lowered by almost 13% since 1995, thanks to the commitment that our industry has voluntarily agreed to in 1998.

But the results could have been larger if there had not been the counter-productive effect from EU-regulations (safety, air quality and others) and a market trend towards more comfortable and safer cars that make them necessarily heavier and less efficient, and finally a weak demand for fuel-efficient cars.

The lessons from the past should be reflected in future policy. It is clear that the vehicle industry cannot solve the CO2-problem on its own. Further cost-effective contributions can only be made when the on-going technological improvements of this industry are complemented by other measures: improving traffic management, adjusting infrastructure, increasing the use and availability of alternative fuels, changing driving behavior and influencing consumer demand through taxation. Needed Like in the case of improving road safety, an “integrated approach” is needed.

The European Commission proposal currently on the table puts the burden of reducing CO2 emissions from cars, again, mainly on the automobile manufacturers. It is prohibitively expensive to achieve a target of 130 g/km through vehicle technology only, and it is unrealistic to believe this can be done by 2012. The announced legislative framework will not be ready before 2009: this leaves the industry too little time to apply by 2012; the cars of 2012 will be on the drawing table tomorrow.

The final objective of 120 by 2012 through the integrated approach is achievable, when the right measures are put in place.

Marchionne made his remarks in a speech in Brussels in which he called for EU governments and the European vehicle industry to work together on developing an integrated and harmonized approach to the industry and policy.



"Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of the Fiat Group and current president of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), said that while the European auto industry fully supports the EU objective of reducing car emissions to an average of 120 g/km by 2012, actually achieving that goal will require more than vehicle technology. "

How many miles per gallon is that(US and imperial)?


Automaker innovation?


"Even the best internal-combustion engines still waste more than 80% of the energy created by burning gasoline." {Reported in Wall Street- July 2005}

The reduction of CO2 quoted by Fiat Chairman is due to increase of diesel sales mix – hardly technical innovation especially given its counter pollution attributes.

The 4 stroke is over 100 years old and this is what these experts still farm off to us as state of the art. Real emission tests show CO, HC and hydrogen chloride [from the catalytic converter] are far in excess of their “factory” figures. HCCI has been researched for 12 years, is still over 6 years away and probably will never come to the market due to excessive over design and hence total unreliability. Fuel cells, if ever available, will amount to no solution when uptake of say, 100,000 units pa is compared to the global inventory of 900m vehicles.

All automakers are looking at the same technology at the same time [which makes you question how competitive they are]. They now complain that the only way they can innovate for the demanding public that is so unreasonable to expect proper engine advancement, is for them to collaborate. Yet, after the industry spends US$50billion per year for the last 10 years, they have come up with nothing. Any company with a breakthrough design is squashed as the auto makers are the experts in the eyes of the public and government, and so management job security and bonuses overrides both the public shareholders interests and the real design progress that idealistic yet gullible independent design companies resulting in a constant stream of auto maker statements telling us how well they are doing in combating GHG emissions.

A sad day for us all apart from those looking after their own interests at the expense of the future.


with lightweight cars 120gr is doable

120gr CO2 is around 4l/100km

the lightweight Audi A2 1,2 TDI did 3l/100km,
and wasn't a small car like smart or Fiat 500.


Jimzi, I quote: "Any company with a breakthrough design is squashed as the auto makers are the experts in the eyes of the public and government".

Over the years, I have seen MANY claims for alternative powertrains. I have yet to see one that stands up to scrutiny in terms of making major advances over a good gasoline or diesel engine. Most of the alternatives are pure hogwash. Most of the rest have problems such as, non-compliance with government regulations (too much NOx from lean-burn concepts, etc), insufficient "robustness" from the user's point of view (HCCI), excessive cost (fuel cells), impractical and uneconomical and thermodynamically inadvisable fuel source (anything that uses hydrogen).

The best thing we have, and that we have the technology to do, is the diesel engine with NOx trap and particulate filter. Bar none. Particularly if that engine can be made to operate on biodiesel produced from sources that don't compete with food (e.g. algae).

The Fiat chairman is quite correct in stating that the advance in safety and emission regulations is counterproductive from the CO2 point of view. We cannot sustainably have people driving themselves around in vehicles that weigh two tonnes in the interest of ultimate collision safety.

Rafael Seidl


Emission of X gCO2/km:


gasoline: Y = 24
diesel: Y = 27
E85: Y = 5.23

US: Z = 235.21
UK: Z = 282.21

Example: 120 gCO2/km using gasoline

47.0 MPG US
56.4 MPG UK

Of course, the driving cycle used (NEDC in Europe, FTP etc. in the US) also has a major impact on the values any given car will produce, so be careful to avoid comparing apples and oranges.


For those of us living in metric countries, MPG is gibberish. My brain is too tired this evening to get L/100 km into g CO2/km, but something tells me that my Jetta TDI is somewhere around 140 g/km based on real world consumption (not EPA or Transport Canada fiction) ... and that's a compact car with manual gearbox with one of the most efficient production engines out there, indicating the magnitude of this problem.


As a rather smart person put it .. Generaly people spend as little on safety as they can. If they spend much of anything on it you know something is wrong. If they spend alot on it you know someone screwed the pooch.


Niech Sergio Marchione z ACEA nie wygaduje głupot .ze nic nie mozna juz zrobic z silnikami aby zmniejszyc emisje CO2. W szufladach leza patenty ,ktore przemysł nie chce wdrozyc do produkcji. Problem zanieczyszczen powietrza dawno zostałby rozwiazany gdyby produkowano swiece FireStorm Spark PLug. The Revolutionary FireStorm Spark Plug inventor Robert Krupa Michigan,USA,patentUS.

tom deplume

All these demand side ideas just won't work to lower GHGs. Cutting GHGs by 80% in the next 40 years means cutting fossil fuel use by 80% which can only be achieved by rationing.

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