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Japanese Automakers Say Not Possible to Meet Europe’s 120 gCO2/km Target by 2012

JAMA proposes an multi-part approach similar to that being taken in Japan that puts less direct burden on the automakers. Click to enlarge.

The Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) has published a response to the European Commission’s proposal to institute binding limits of greenhouse gas emissions on new vehicles by 2012: an average 130 g/km from the vehicles, with another 10 g/km to come from lower carbon fuels and other measures.

While saying that it supports the Commission’s objectives, JAMA expresses concern over the implementation dates, the legislated emissions framework, and the focus on vehicle technology.

JAMA members are making every effort to met the interim target of 140 g CO2/km by 2009. If JAMA members are to meet the Commission’s new target of 120 g/km by 2012, the CO2 emissions rate will have to be cut by a further 20 g/km in only 3 years. JAMA therefore does not believe that it will be possible to meet the ambitious 2012 target in such a limited time frame.

The Euro 5/6 standards and environmental and safety regulations will constrain efforts to cut CO2, according to JAMA.

Modification required to pass the Euro NCAP crash-impact tests increase vehicle weight, as do safety belts, other restraint systems and the ISOFIX system, according to JAMA. Modification to vehicle shape to protect pedestrians in the event of a collision increase weight and aerodynamic drag.

The average weight of JAMA vehicles increased by 99 kg between 1999 and 2005.

Approximately 27 kg are estimated to be due to “new regulation, quasi-regulation”. The remaining 72 kg are due to “market changes”. This increase amounts to an average increase in CO2 emissions of 6.6 g/km. It is to be noted that the increase of 72 kg occurred despite efforts by JAMA to use lightweight solutions such as high-strength steel, aluminum, magnesium and plastics.

A 10% increase in aerodynamic drag results in a 2% increase in CO2 emissions, according to JAMA.

The association supports an integrated approach similar to the “three-in-one” approach being taken in Japan: greater fuel efficiency through vehicle technology improvements; improved traffic flow through road infrastructure improvements and improved traffic management; and “eco-driving”.

Of the 54.9 million tonnes of CO2 from the transport sector targeted for reduction in 2010 in Japan, 38% will come from greater fuel efficiency, 10% will come from alternative fuel vehicles and other measures such as eco-driving, and 52% will come from improved traffic flow, according to JAMA.




Excuse me , but how about phasing out large ICE cars and concentrating
on smaller engineed more efficient cars ,with a liberal helping of BEV and
PHEV thrown in to bring the overall tally down.
Why do we have to listen to the B*****KS and the bleating that these
car manufacterers keep coming out with , I am a customer, in the past five
years I have bought two new cars , my next car will be an electric car , when
will they wake up , the answer is probably not until the Chinese come on line
with affordable BEV´s.

Phil Degrave

Excuse me andrichrose, some of us are actually able to date, therefore we can have families, which may not all fit into your "loney loser winnie-mini car".

Chill out toad.


120g/km is possible just not economically feasible at the moment. Rising energy costs and the subsequent wars waged to ensure access to cheap sources of energy will enable 120g/km and even better.

PNGV gave us a viable solution over a decade ago:

Diesel-Electric Hybrids


Phil Degrave,
Afraid to say I don´t need a sports car to pull a date ,
pulled mine with a 14 year old land cruiser , small engineed model of
However if your having trouble put your name down for the
TESLA , now theres a seriously sexy car , and enviromently friendly
to boot , should go great guns with those eco- chicks, otherwise if
we dont buckle down and pull our CO2 waistlines in, you may not
have a world to bring that prospective family into !
Wake up and smell the coffee!


A family should be able to fit into a Phoenix SUV no problem as far as I can see. I am quite optimistic that if production of such vehicles could be ramped up enough by 2012 then they might also be affordable to many families. Also, somehow many European families survive with small cars. How do they do it?


Not to mention the fact that once the kids are big enough that they take up too much room to fit in a small car, it's very rare for the family to go out as a whole. Usually just 1 or 2 people per car.


Its economy of scale , here in northern italy most cars on the road
are on the small side , the Fiat range being particually popular, such
cars such as the Panda and the Punto have a real big car feel with
accomadation for four adults and returning 45 mpg overall , however
there are a few large SUV´s appearing , funny though most of these
seem to be piloted by small highly stressed males in their late thirties!


It seems like we're running into that problem again: The desires of politicians vs what can actually be achieved on an engineering and economic basis. Some people here think that doesn't seem to matter. Well, with the reality of climate change there's also the reality of economics and engineering limitations.


Cervus ,
Tell me how you can manufacture a full road legal four door
BEV with 130 km range and capable of 70 mph with all the luxurys
and safety equipment 4 airbags and the like , in very small quantitys
ie. runs of 25 or so and sell it for around $26000 , because it is being
done here in Italy with no tax credits or grant aid , the factory is just
around the corner from where I live .
Yet still we have the Large car manufacturers telling us that
it cannot be done , here you can go and order this car tomorrow ,not
in 2010 , OK $26000 is a lot of money for a small car , but they are only
making a few at a time , just think what could be done in the tens of
thousands !
This car is based on a Fiat model, and if Fiat so chose to do
they could start up full scale manufacturing within a few months, and
pretty soon the car would be on sale for around $15000 , but they
won´t for purely economic reasons , for a start within a year all the
Fiat agents would start to feel the chill wind , because of the lack
of servicing , plus Fiats big oil partner AGIP would not be happy , the
list goes on with all the reasons economic .
So there you have it there is no technology barrier only
ones put up by the big companies , funny thing is you know, I have
never read anything on the net written by a person who leased one
of the EV1´s or Toyota RAV4 electrics who had anything bad to say
about either of these cars , and they were both launched some ten
years ago now.
I do wonder if in ten years time we will be still debating
this !


It's not about technical limitations, really. There's no technical reason the US transportation system couldn't use 1/2 or 1/3 the energy it does currently. It's all about the costs of changing the system, and who the winners and losers are going to be. The real limitation for US automakers is that they are afraid of taking the risk and/or in denial about the need to change their business models to support a different product mix which can meet the needs of a changed market. Business as usual, with minor tweaks, is what they are hoping for. All I can say is, good luck with that.



When did I ever say I was against electric vehicles? Geez.

Frankly, when even the Japanese say "it can't be done in the time we have", and they have more experience in creating fuel efficient vehicles than American companies, it's time to take notice.


Phil wrote; "Excuse me andrichrose, some of us are actually able to date, therefore we can have families, which may not all fit into your "loney loser winnie-mini car"."

Phil there is an old joke that's funny because its true- In Italy a man with a Vespa and sidecar can take his family of seven out into the country for the afternoon while in America a man with a seven seat SUV will be sitting alone stuck in traffic for the afternoon.


The average weight of JAMA vehicles increased by 99 kg between 1999 and 2005.
Isn't that about the same as a large man or two medium women? I never heard of anyone complaining that much about gas consumption going down when there's an extra person in the car. Just more crap from the automakers.


This too will change as the price of fuel increases and I'm not just referring to prices at the pump. Another 911 or a nuclear Iran will spur faster innovation. Right now, it's just economics not engineering that's holding Big Auto back.

If the US elects Ron Paul stop next year, the US would spend more time & money protecting our boarders instead of playing “world cop” while “nation building” and meddling in other nation’s business. Who are we to tell them what to think & do??? With Ron Paul, this situation would change in a matter of months.


I wonder, if the European Comissions restrictions were
met by some company, within the EU, would the Asian
automakers be so adamant about not being able to comply
with their proposal? It comes down to transition costs
that have to come from, inevitably, the consumer. This
legislation will only have impact if the consumer, who
bears the brunt of the expense, will be willing or able
to afford the stepped up cost basis for these measures.
Remember, legislatures have to answer to their constituents
who put them in the driver seat. They don't get paid to
swerve all over the road.


Cervus ,
I know you are not against electric vehicles , I just fell that
we the public are being hoodwinked into thinking that this technology
is out of reach by the big manufacturers.
The company that I mentioned are not allowed to advertise
their car, or even have a website , try it, ATEA spa. for fear I presume of
some sort of retaliation from Fiat who supply the enginless cars! yet the
guys that work there are all very motivated and proud of their product,
it just gets me pi**ed off when I hear another motor company exec whinging
on about how it is not possible.



Are you referring to the Doblo Electric? The price I've seen for that model is $40,000 (29,500 euro). Your $15,000 high volume price cannot possibly refer to this vehicle, a 43 kWh Li-ion battery pack costs more than that all by itself.


Here is a list of the current vehicles that meet the 120g/km standard.



White star and its cheaper sibling will be the high profile proof that EVs can be done. Once they hit the road the big car companies will just look slow and stupid.


No, the model made here is the Fiat Panda , this car
uses a 20KWh zebra cell , the Doblo is bigger and I think will be
made in partnership with Cleanova in France


Et al:
Please understand that our elected politicians don't run our country; neither The Republicans nor the Democrats. there is really only one Party...Big Industry and that includes Big Oil, Big Auto and Big Pharma because Big Industry pays for the elections and they expect to be rewarded for shelling out.

So when Big Industry says we cannot, or will not, meet an imposed requirement, watch how fast the politicos back off. Do you remember the super low zero-emissions standard California mandated? What happened! The politicians simply cancelled it from the pressure by Big Industry. And so it goes.

I'm afraid it's sad but true, the dirty ICE with its expensive emission systems, will be around for sometime yet.

Having said all this, I believe that in the long term future, BEVs, because of their many positive attributes cannot be denied, even by Big Industry.


There is a WORLD of difference between what can be made and what can be made that then sells for enough to make making it worth doing...

You cant use am 8000 buck trans and a 7000 buck engine and a 12000 buck body in all your cars.

Rafael Seidl

(a) JAMA (and its Korean counterpart, KAMA) were not part of ACEA's now-infamous voluntary commitment to reduce fleet average CO2 emissions to 140g/km by MY2008. They did, however, commit to strive toward the same standard a year later.

This was accepted at the time because these manufacturers do not have as much diesel expertise and, because European manufacturers have always been granted an additional year to meet regulatory changes in the Asian markets.

The EU Commission has not yet presented a formal proposal with the details of the (130-10)gCO2/km target that was agreed to in principle a few months back. In particular, it is as yet unclear how the fleet averages will be computed (per brand? per manufacturer? per manufacuters' association?) and if non-EU producers will be given an extra year to comply.

(b) reducing CO2 emissions by regulating cars is an extremely expensive route, compared to e.g. upgrading coal-fired power stations. The auto industry understands and accepts that the 800lb gorilla in the room is really the security of future transportation fuel supplies, given that the world's vehicle fleet is set to double by 2040-2050.

However, if they didn't complain at all, lawmakers would really get ahead of themselves and legislate the totally impossible. A big problem is that in Europe as in the US, politicians are a bunch of cowards. They prefer suitably arcane regulations on supply rather than move the goalposts (e.g. raise fuel taxes) to generate demand for the product characteristics (e.g. fuel economy) they want to see. That leaves manufacturers in a serious lurch, as they have to spend scarce marketing dollars to heavily promote vehicles carrying lower profit margins.


It's 1999, yes 8 years ago, and a new vehicle is on the market with less than 120 g/km CO2.

It's a proper family size vehicle, very modestly priced, meets all modern safety requirements, drives well and can hit 120 mph and 70 mpg US. It's the Astra ECO4, from GM!

If Opel could do it 8 years ago, I'm sure the Japanese could do it today.


The problem isn't reducing individual car emissions ... its lowering the overall fleet emissions. It may take more time for the pre-existing cars to be phased out of use than would be achievable by 2012.

PS: The current Toyota Prius as demonstrated on the link provided earlier is 104 g/km ... well below the 120 g/km target they wanted by 2012. It might be more efficient to carefully craft incentives to increase the number of SULEV / PZEV / ZEVs on the road today. Be careful though .. we don't want to repeat the California Solar fiasco!

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