As part of a newly released Clean Mobility package, the European Commission is proposing a 30% reduction in average CO2 emissions for new cars and vans from 2021 to 2030.
The proposal includes targets both for 2025 and 2030. The 2025 intermediary target of a 15% reduction is intended to kick-start investments immediately. The 2030 target gives stability and long-term direction to keep up these investments. These targets will help push the transition from conventional combustion-engine vehicles to clean ones, the EC said.
The proposal also includes the already established EU fleet wide targets for 2020/2021 of 95 g CO2/km for passenger cars and 147 g CO2/km for light commercial vehicles, both of which are based on the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) test procedure. Starting from 2021, the emission targets will be based on the new emissions test procedure, the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), which was introduced on 1 September 2017.
As the WLTP test procedure will be phased in over the next years, the newly proposed 2025 and 2030 fleet wide targets are not defined as absolute values (in g CO2/km), but expressed as percentage reductions compared to the average of the specific emission targets for 2021.
While the proposed Regulation applies to all passenger cars and light commercial vehicles newly registered in the Union, manufacturers responsible for less than 1000 new registrations per year are exempt from the CO2 targets.
The proposed framework also combines the CO2 targets for 2025 and 2030 with a technology-neutral incentive mechanism for zero- and low-emission vehicles in order to give the market a clear signal for investment in clean vehicles.
The incentive covers both zero-tailpipe-emission vehicles such as battery electric or fuel cell vehicles and low-emission vehicles having tailpipe emissions of less than 50 g CO2 per km—these are mainly plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Manufacturers achieving a share of zero- and low-emission vehicles, which is higher than the proposed benchmark level of 15% in 2025 and 30% in 2030, will be rewarded in the form of a less strict CO2 target. For determining that share, account is taken of the emission performance of the vehicles concerned. As a consequence, a zero-emission vehicle is counted more than a low-emission vehicle.
In its statement, the EC leadership noted that with the entering into force of the Paris Agreement, the international community has committed to move towards a modern low-carbon economy, while the automotive industry is undergoing profound transformation. The EU must seize this opportunity and become a global leader, the EC said, pointing to countries such as the United States (which is the lone holdout from the Paris Agreement) and China moving ahead “very quickly”.
EU sales of new passenger cars relative to global sales have decreased from 34% before the financial crisis (2008/2009) to 20% today. To maintain market shares and to accelerate the transition towards low and zero emission vehicles, the Commission is proposing the new package of measures.
The Clean Mobility proposals will now be sent to the co-legislators. The Commission called on all stakeholders to work closely together to ensure the swift adoption and implementation of these different proposals and measures.
Other elements in the Clean Mobility package include:
The Clean Vehicles Directive to promote clean mobility solutions in public procurement tenders and thereby provide a solid boost to the demand and to the further deployment of clean mobility solutions.
An action plan and investment solutions for the trans-European deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure. The aim is to increase the level of ambition of national plans, to increase investment, and improve consumer acceptance.
The revision of the Combined Transport Directive, which promotes the combined use of different modes for freight transport (e.g. trucks and trains), will make it easier for companies to claim incentives and therefore stimulate the combined use of trucks and trains, barges or ships for the transport of goods.
The Directive on Passenger Coach Services, to stimulate the development of bus connections over long distances across Europe and offer alternative options to the use of private cars, will contribute to further reducing transport emissions and road congestion. This will offer additional, better quality and more affordable mobility options, particularly for people on low income.
The battery initiative has strategic importance to the EU’s integrated industrial policy so that the vehicles and other mobility solutions of tomorrow and their components will be invented and produced in the EU.