European Parliament proposes 40% cut in new car CO2 by 2030; acceleration of sales of electric and low-emission cars
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) approved a proposal which would set a higher target for reducing EU fleet-wide emissions for new cars by 2030 of 40% (compared to the EU Commission’s 30%; year of reference 2021) with an intermediate target of 20% by 2025. Similar targets are set for new vans. Market uptake of electric and low- emission cars should also accelerate, said MEPs.
Manufacturers whose average CO2 emissions exceed these targets will pay a fine to the EU budget, to be used for up-skilling workers affected by changes in the automotive sector, the MEPs agreed.
Carmakers will also have to ensure that zero- and low- emission vehicles—ZLEVs (electric cars or vehicles which emit less than 50g CO2/km)—have a 35% market share of sales of new cars and vans by 2030, and 20% by 2025.
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) quickly voiced serious concerns about the outcome of the plenary vote on the future CO2 reduction targets.
We remain particularly concerned about the extremely aggressive CO2 reduction targets and the imposition of sales quotas for battery electric vehicles that MEPs have backed. Today’s vote risks having a very negative impact on jobs across the automotive value chain. It would essentially force the industry into a dramatic transformation in record time.—ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert
ACEA also noted that there was a very tight majority on some crucial issues.
Further, the association noted, there is no guarantee that the right enabling framework is in place to facilitate this sudden transition to electromobility. Currently recharging infrastructure is severely lacking, and consumer incentives to purchase the more expensive electric vehicles remain unharmonized across the EU.
Consumers cannot be forced to buy electric cars, without the necessary infrastructure or incentives in place. We can only hope that national governments bring some realism to the table when adopting their common position on the future CO2 targets next week.—Erik Jonnaert
Parliament also called on the EU Commission to table, within two years, plans for a real-world CO2 emissions test using a portable device, similar to that recently introduced for NOx. Until then, CO2 emissions must be measured based on data from the cars’ fuel consumption meters. The real-driving emissions test must be up and running from 2023, say MEPs.
The MEPs acknowledged that a transition towards zero-emission mobility requires changes throughout the automotive value chain, with possible negative social impacts. The MEPs suggested that the EU promote skill development and reallocation of workers in the sector, particularly in regions and communities most affected by the transition. MEPs also call for support for European battery manufacturing.
The report was adopted with 389 votes to 239 and 41 abstentions. EU ministers will adopt their common position on 9 October. Negotiations with MEPs for a first reading agreement would then start on 10 October.