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European auto industry proposes further 20% cut in passenger car CO2 by 2030 from 2021; conditional on EV uptake and infrastructure; no ZEV mandate

At the Frankfurt Motor Show, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) outlined the industry’s proposal for a pathway to future CO2 reductions: a 20% CO2 reduction for passenger cars by 2030, compared to 2021. The European Commission will reveal its proposal on CO2 targets for cars post-2021 later this year.

The ACEA said that this target should be conditional on the real market uptake of electrically-chargeable vehicles and the availability of charging infrastructure for alternatively-powered vehicles which are crucial to achieve any significant CO2 reductions beyond 2020 levels. Based on a mid-term review in 2025, this target could be adjusted either upwards or downwards.

ACEA proposes that the regression line be based on a 2021 market snapshot of the WLTP CO2 performance and WLTP test mass of all EU registrations. A midpoint will then be derived from the translated manufacturer-specific WLTP targets for 2021. The 2030 ambition level will be defined by lowering this midpoint by 20%.

The mid-term review in 2025 should use 2024 CO2 monitoring data; the -20% target should be adjusted upwards or downwards by defined percentage points based on the real market uptake of electrically-chargeable vehicles (ECVs) recalculated to BEV-equivalent values and the availability of charging infrastructure for ECVs as well as CNG and H2 vehicles.

The 2030 target should be supported by a number of modalities, ACEA said, focusing on off-cycle credits, super credits (or similar measures supporting the market uptake of alternatively powered vehicles), ITS applications and measures stimulating the use of low-carbon fuels.

ACEA also argued that due to the diversity of markets within the EU, their geographical situation and climate conditions as well as the uncertainty surrounding infrastructure investments for alternatively powered vehicles—and consumer acceptance of such powertrains—no form of mandate for zero emission vehicles (ZEV) or low-emission vehicles (LEV) should be implemented.

This is a steep reduction. It’s also in line with what is expected of other industry sectors, as well as the EU Climate and Energy Framework and the global Paris agreement. In our opinion, this conditionality principle links Europe’s long-term climate objectives to the reality of the market. Currently the reality is that the market uptake of electrically-chargeable vehicles is low—and this is not due to lack of availability and choice.

—ACEA President, Dieter Zetsche

The latest ACEA data show that in the first half of 2017, electrically-chargeable vehicles made up 1.2% of total new car sales. Alternative powertrains will undoubtedly play an increasing role in the transport mix, and all ACEA’s members are investing heavily in them. However, ACEA said, equally important is that all EU member states start delivering on their commitments to step up investments in the necessary recharging and refueling infrastructure.

In the interim, modern diesel technology will continue to play an important role in the gradual transition to low-carbon vehicles, according to ACEA.

The latest generation of diesel vehicles is a very effective lever to achieve climate goals in the near future, because they emit 15-20% less CO2 than equivalent petrol vehicles. Our industry is committed to being part of the solution when it comes to decarbonizing road transport, while at the same time reducing pollutant emissions.

—Dieter Zetsche

Modern diesel vehicles now can deliver very low pollutant emissions on the road under the new real driving emissions (RDE) test that came into effect earlier this month.

ACEA also called on the European Commission to consider the most cost-effective solutions and to take into account the social implications of the transition to low-carbon vehicles.

ACEA represents the 15 Europe-based car, van, truck and bus manufacturers: BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford of Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco, Jaguar Land Rover, Opel Automobile, PSA Group, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.

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