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Euro Parliament committee approves new 95 g/km CO2 target for cars; super credits and a switch to WLTP

25 April 2013

The environment committee of the European Parliament approved a draft law setting out a new CO2 target for cars of 95g CO2/km (153 g/mile) by 2020, down from 130 gCO2/km (209 g/mile) in 2015. The draft also sets indicative targets for post-2020 CO2 emissions in the range of 68-78 g/km (109-126 g/mile) from 2025.

These emission limits are the average maximum allowed for car makers registered in the EU. Makers producing fewer than 1,000 cars a year should be exempt from the legislation, said the MEPs. Car makers would therefore have to produce, in addition to older, heavier or polluting models, enough cleaner ones to achieve a balance of 95g en 2020, on pain of penalties.

To achieve this average target, makers will be able to use “super credits”, which assign a favorable weighting to cars that emit less than 50 g/km of CO2. Within each manufacturer’s “balance”, each of these extra clean cars would count as 3.5 cars in 2013, falling to 1.5 from 2016 and 1 from 2024.

Any increase in the emissions target for each manufacturer deriving from the “super-credits” calculation would be capped at 2.5 g. MEPs also said it should not be possible to transfer any unused super-credits from one year to another.

In addition, the committee noted that recent studies have shown that manufacturers have exploited weaknesses in the current procedure for testing cars’ environmental performance, with the result that official consumption and emission figures are far from those achieved in everyday driving conditions.

The MEPs therefore said that the new UN-defined World Light Duty Test Procedure (WLTP) should replace the current procedure in EU law “as a matter of urgency”, and if possible by 2017, on the grounds that the WLTP better reflects the real conditions in which cars are used.

Thomas Ulmer, a German member of the EPP group who is responsible for steering the proposal through Parliament, will now lead negotiations with member states. MEPs are expected to vote on the proposal in July 2013. Both Parliament and the Council will have to approve it before it can enter into force.

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April 25, 2013 in Climate Change, Emissions, Europe, Fuel Efficiency, Policy | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

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95 gms is very ambitious, as is adopting the new WLTP testing procedure. I suspect that the manufacturers had "got very good" at the existing CO2 assessment system and were gaming it.

The WLTP will be a new challenge for them.

I was expecting a higher 2020 CO2 target as a concession to the introduction of the tougher WLTP - the manufacturers would not be too embarrassed to admit they were gaming the current system so making the new one harder to achieve.

The WLTP is a different cycle - does it have anything to stop manufacturers modifying their cars (tyres, oils, aerodynamic changes etc) to improve figures?

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