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European Parliament to Consider Even Tougher Limits on Vehicle CO2 Than Currently Proposed; Restrictions on Top Speed

27 June 2007

Davies_2
The two proposals for European limits on CO2 from new vehicles, plotted with actual CO2 data from the UK. Click to enlarge. UK data: SMMT.

The European Parliament will consider implementing tougher targets than the currently proposed 130 g/km binding target to curb CO2 from vehicles.

Under a plan proposed by MEP Chris Davies (UK), vehicles would need to reduce vehicular greenhouse gas emissions to 120 gCO2/km by 2015, and 95 gCO2/km by 2020, solely from improvements in vehicle technology.

The EU had originally set a target of 120 g/km by 2012, with a voluntary milestone of 140 g/km by 2008. However, missing the milestone is a certainty—latest figures suggest that new cars placed on the European market are emitting an average of 162g CO2/km. In response, the EU began developing legally binding reduction targets, currently proposed to be 130 g/km from the vehicle, and another 10 g/km from lower carbon fuels and elsewhere. (Earlier post.)

The European automakers have responded that they would need at least three additional years prior to the implementation of a legislative framework mandating reductions in CO2 from cars, and that the 130 g/km target still puts too much onus on vehicle technology. (Earlier post.)

The Davies proposal thus gives the industry more time, but makes the target more stringent.

The plan calls for the creation of a new market mechanism, the Carbon Allowance Reduction System (CARS). Manufacturers and importers will be required to pay a penalty in proportion to the emissions that their vehicles produce above an annual benchmark, but will be able to claim financial credits for vehicles emitting less than the average.

Davies also proposes that new vehicles should not be awarded type approval if they are built to exceed the maximum speed limit of 130 kph (81 mph) applying in most European countries by more than 25% (162 kph or 101 mph).

Cars designed to go at stupid speeds have to be built to withstand the effects of a crash at those speeds. They are heavier than necessary, less fuel efficient and produce too many emissions.  At a time when Europe is worried about its energy security it is sheer lunacy to approve the sale of gas guzzling cars designed to travel at dangerous speeds that the law does not permit.

—Chris Davies

He is also calling for a major shift in the advertising of new cars, with 20% of all space devoted to information about fuel economy and CO2 emissions.

Some 19% of all Europe’s carbon emissions come from passenger cars and light-commercial vehicles.  Absolute volumes of CO2 continue to rise because of the growing number of cars on the roads, their greater size and much increased power.   

The pre-legislative report is due to be voted at committee stage in September and Parliament's full plenary in late October.

June 27, 2007 in Europe, Fuel Efficiency, Policy | Permalink | Comments (31) | TrackBack (0)

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As usual, there's a disconnect between what the politicians want and what is actually achievable from an engineering standpoint.

"Built to exceed max speed limit"

So they will simply put an electronic limiter in the ECU to prevent the cars from exceeding the 162kmhr...simple enough to remove [in the code itself]. Manufacturers could still build a 400hp 4000lb vehicle with the speed limiter instituted.

"Cars designed to go stupid speeds... are heavier than necessary, less fuel efficient and produce too many emissions. At a time when Europe is worried about its energy security it is sheer lunacy to approve the sale of gas guzzling cars designed to travel at dangerous speeds that the law does not permit."

How fast can a Hummer/Escalade/Expedition/Suburban/Navigator/F-150/Tahoe/Yukon/Denali/Silverado/Land Rover/Titan/Tundra/Hemi/etc go? I think most US SUVs are heavier than necessary- but it is hardly safety concerns. Perhaps it is more on account of our gluttony than anything else.

These EU legistlators should take a look at the "no-holds-barred" mega polluters that are ubiquitous here in the US.

From what I've seen in the auto magazines most of those vehicles are governed to 160 or 170 km/h (98-105 mph). It's become pretty common for those who are interested in performance to re-flash their vehicle's computers to extract more performance, and in many cases those flashes do also remove the top speed limitation.

They'd get more of the desired effect by restricting the power-to-weight ratio rather than the top speed.

50 mpg is equal to 109.79 grams of co2 per km. This is achievable now and will be even more achievable in the future. Those who chooose to exceed those limits will be severely penalized as they should be.


The speed restrictions apply to vehicles built to exceed certain speeds ---I'm sure that they can prohibit limiters as a way to achieve this.

This can be achieved if they have the will. Those who really don't care about reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gases will always find a way to maintain that the goals are unachievable. We can achieve great things if we truly have the desire to do so.

I'm all for more fuel efficient vehicles, but this is just plain stupid. The Tesla roadster would be illegal under this proposal. What good would that do? Not that I drive a Porsche or Ferrari, or even a BMW or Mercedes, but what sense does it make to kill off one the areas that European industry really excels in, namely luxury performance cars? None at all I would say. Yes let's demand more fuel efficiency, and yes legislate that if you have to, but imposing speed restrictions that will be circumvented anyway sounds more like some jealousy legislation to me. No we don't need anymore senseless EU legislation we've got quite enough of that already thank you. Now go back to the hole you crept out of mr. Davies who does not represent my country and I don't feel like it's any of your damn business.

Sigh. The US could also acheive 50 Mpg in 12 years. 6 years to rotate out old designs and supply contracts, and 6 years to transition to the better options. The next Prius is supposed to get, what, 70 mpg? What's the estimated mileage of a Chevy Volt; 60-150 mpg depending on how you count the plug-in juice? There are so many battery technologies on the horizon, with nanotech annodes, or barium titanate supercapacitors, or improved chemistries, that we know we will have some cost effective choice.

As to energy security, given North Sea oil production, does the EU import a greater percentage of their oil than we do? I suspect the EU cares just as much about the balance of trade. Given how much the Euro has gained against he dollar, perhaps we should be fanatical about efficiency to help defend the dollar's trade value, too.

Most of us still believe that bigger is better and safer. This programmed brainwashing will be around for a few decades unless polluters are forced to pay for all the pollution they create and that part of the pollution funds collected are used to reprogram most of us to buy cleaner vehicles.

A sliding ceiling, starting at 120 g/Km for 2008/10 and going down 5 g/Km per year thereafter would be realistic.

Top Gear did a segment where they conducted a head on collision between a Renault Espace Minivan vs a Land Rover SUV. The results were surprrising.

The old-school bondy-on-frame SUV faired poorly compared to the Espace.

Proof that bigger is not safer. By the way, most large SUVs sold in the US are body-on-frame, leaf spring designs.

The only operative words in this proposal is that THE POLITICIANS and THE GOVERMENT will receive payments (taxes) for those who don't comply. Heads the politicians win; tails You lose.

Frankly the fastiest sedans on the planet are German Autobahn monsters. The only builders of automotive V-12 engines are the EU companies Mercedes, BMW, VW.

The only builders of vehicles that more than half of their production are 200MPH capable monsters, are the Italians, Ferrari, Lamborgini; the Brits, Jaguar, and Aston Martin; and of course the Teutonic Porche.

The next time you hear just how fuel efficient the EU auto fleet is remember that it is at 163gCO2/km which equates to 32 mpg when most of the egine technology used is stinky, polluting diesels.

If the US auto fleet were allowed to use those same stinky, polluting, diesel engines, they woud get 25-30% better mileage too or almost 34 mpg (27.5 CAFE x 1.25). that's not all that different, if you didn't notice.

How can that be? The average vehicle is smaller but the technology and efficiency of the engines are much more primitive and inefficient.

But American city air is as pure as the driven snow, compared to the heavily polluted, stinky air that reminds an American of being stuck behinds a smelly Bus belching smoke and pollution.

Don't think that the vehicles that the EU exports to America is anywhere as primitivce as what they sell domestically.

"As usual, there's a disconnect between what the politicians want and what is actually achievable from an engineering standpoint."

Can I ask why you say that Cervus?

In the UK there are already over 50 types of car available putting out 130g/km or less and they're not all dinky little city cars.

And this is before they've even seriously tried to properly reduce the emissions or started to develop EVs. I don't see it as impossible at all.

Stan Peterson,

Are you sure about your math? There's more carbon in a gallon of diesel than in a gallon of unleaded, hence the gCO2/km standard to provide a standard unit for comparison.

Also, you're only comparing the mileage standards for cars, but the US has a much higher percentage of overweight SUV's. The V12's you mention are very rare in the EU. V8's are much more common in the US than in the EU.

Come on, efficiency is good for the economy and the environment. We need to stop supersizing our meals and our vehicles, because it is wasteful and only helps the vendor selling us the junk.

We in the US don't have a franchise on pollution. Inefficient automobiles is a world problem, the EU included. But then, well-informed individuals would know this.

The blanket cap on speed is pretty short-sighted.

As someone pointed out, this would outlaw the Tesla roadster.

There will always be people interested in fast vehicles. If they truly wanted to encourage lower GHG emitting vehicles, they should apply the rule only to ICE's.

This would incentivize manufacturers to develop low emitting cars that perform well, and thus greatly promote R&D of electic vehicles...

tato-Good point

Most minivans in the us get rather poor milage. When my friends got thier new suv even tho it just got 20 mpg it did beter then thier minivan... and of course now when they boat camp and such they dont go in 2 cars anymore.

And the suv isnt driven all that much compared to commutes with the husbands small pickup/worktruck.

They hope to get a hybrid mid sized suv in 5 years or so and jump to 35-45 mpg. ALOT are hoping for a solid mid sized hybrid family suv.

We on the other handuse 2 large sedans that get 30-32. Cant fit into a prius...

Shigley,

I never said nor implied that the EU or Asia are non-polluters.

Besides the US, I have had the privilege to live in Central America, Europe and Japan. I can say from my first-hand experience that nowhere else in the world are people as energy wasteful in terms of transportation and even housing as we are. Overseas gas-guzzling SUVs and over-sized vehicles are clearly the exception, whereas here in the US they are the norm.
Example: What other country is it common to see +4,500lb vehicles transporting one passenger?

I believe no one has the right to be wasteful. If measuring energy use per capita, we are currently the most wasteful people on this planet. A fact that is lost on all but the "most well-informed individuals."

Some may argue that this is an entitlement that comes with being an industrial + military superpower. However, soon India + China will exceed our energy consumption. Imagine the pollution when India + China (+2.5 billion people strong) start consuming energy at the extravagant levels we have become accustomed to in the US.

What kind of example have we Americans set for them or them and the rest of the world?

DH:

I read an article today that in Europe, the vast majority of vehicle sold in Europe are 4-cylinders. Here, 70% are V6es and up.

You know, if our emissions regs weren't so strict we could have those efficient European diesels here.

The fact is that Americans have always liked big vehicles. Even back during the oil crisis 70s, there were these huge land yachts. Given that this is a decades-long preference you are going to be very hard pressed to change consumer tastes. The company that makes what people want to buy will be more successful than one who tries to change consumer tastes.

Conversely, the company that cannot keep up with changing consumer tastes goes out of business. This is why GM is furiously working on the Volt right now.

Watching one person in an Escalade bothers me, too. But they're paying for it with every $100 fill-up.

DH,

Although I do think Americans are overly wasteful of energy, and our nation is the largest consumer of energy, your statement that we use the most energy per capita is incorrect. IIRC, we place second there. Australians use more energy per capita.

Not disagreeing with your overall point, just correcting a minor error.

"But American city air is as pure as the driven snow, compared to the heavily polluted, stinky air that reminds an American of being stuck behinds a smelly Bus belching smoke and pollution."

While air quality is often better for some (but not all) pollutants in the US, I do wonder sometimes if you guys have an image in your minds that European cities still look something like this:

http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/smog1.jpg

Most of these proposals are right on.

Devoting 20% of ad space to CO2 emissions is excellent!

A carbon tax trading scheme is the natural way to keep Daimler and BMW in business, while at the same time still promoting the regular segments. Allowing more time for the development of low consumption strategies at the expense of stricter benchmarks achieves similar results.

Forcing the market towards greater fuel efficiency has proven to be the only successful method of reducing emissions. Voluntary schemes don't work. Emission goals which are difficult to achieve prevent the imports from offering low cost products, thus ensuring the continued viability of the local industries.

The main proposal which won't fly is the banning of high performance vehicles. This would attack too many powerful interests, and doesn't have a chance. It's just there to make the carbon tax trading scheme appear to be a compromise.

The 95g/km target for 2020 is impossible - when pigs fly. Under such a rule, practically every new vehicle purchase would include carbon taxes - doh! I guess that's the point.

When is the EU going to pay significant attention to the 81% of emissions from sources other than personal transportation?

Cervus,

Europe's car fleet: "runs about 84 percent four-cylinder, five percent three-cylinder and just one percent eight-cylinder engines, 51 percent of them diesel and 80 percent driving through manual transmissions."

Shigley,

What's more the US CAFE for cars is 27.5mpg, while trucks (SUVs) is a pathetic 22.5mpg. Europe's CAFE, on the other hand will soon stand at a respectable 37mpg across the board.

Meanwhile back in the US- GM, Ford, Chryser, and Toyota are aggressively lobbying against a long overdue proposed CAFE increase to 35mpg across the board.

Here's more from thecarconnection.com

"If 35-mpg CAFE becomes law, it will arrive in increments over a decade beginning in 2010, just two years from now. For passenger cars alone, that may be attainable, though not without enormous cost and consumer adjustment.Europe's proposed future CO2 emission standard of 140 grams per kilometer equates to a very aggressive 37 mpg. Europe's car fleet today - driven by heavily taxed, ultra-expensive fuel but no fuel economy law - runs about 84 percent four-cylinder, five percent three-cylinder and just one percent eight-cylinder engines, 51 percent of them diesel and 80 percent driving through manual transmissions."


"The fact is that Americans have always liked big vehicles. Even back during the oil crisis 70s, there were these huge land yachts."

Gee what a short memory you have. While SOME americans have always liked big cars its also true that in the past it was America that made the smaller cars into the most popular. Remember the early corvette? It was tiny. How about the VW beetle? Millions sold in the US.

Even when Americans did buy big cars the point was they were *cars* not SUVs. Cars can be easily made aerodynamic (which is a more cost effective way to improve their mileage than reducing weight) but an "aerodynamic SUV" is an oxymoron.

You wana know how our friends are changing with gas prices?

They cut out the trip to disneyland and instead went to great america...

They dont go skiing as often now and have sold all the atvs.

They didnt fly this year but will next... bash willing.

Thats about it. They even tho they know sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo little about car tech.. are simply waiting on that "future car" and holding onto what they have now. They just wait.

What does that car do? It must be able to be filled up then drive home then to disneyland then back ho,e and then the next day bedriven in to gas up... 800 mile range...

It must fit the family and friends and uncle and aunt.. and 500$ woth of food and games.. and EVERYTHING they buy at and around disneyland.

It then must tow A 18 foot boat to the lake... It then must handle a trip from cal to miami floeida and back. COMFORTABLY. In one nonstop drive.

Cervus:
"As usual, there's a disconnect between what the politicians want and what is actually achievable from an engineering standpoint."

But some cars already achieve better than 120g/km, so clearly it is achievable from an engineering standpoint.

Patrick:
"So they will simply put an electronic limiter in the ECU to prevent the cars from exceeding the 162kmhr...simple enough to remove [in the code itself]. Manufacturers could still build a 400hp 4000lb vehicle with the speed limiter instituted."

I suspect the point is, if the car is limited to 100mph, consumers might not want to pay extra for the 3 litre version, and might be content with the 1.6 litre variant. If they just want acceleration, then electric drive is the best way to get that.

Petrolea: Could always make an exception for electric cars. No ICE powered car is allowed to do more than 100mph?

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