Ambitious, but rubbish?
The European Union is proposing a 30% reduction in emissions from cars, vans and the like in the next decade it seems. The minimum figure for 95g/km of Co2 and 147g/km is set to be reached by 2030, with a possible 66.5g/km & 103g/km maximum imposed for the following decade.
To put that into perspective, 66.5g/km would require a diesel fuel consumption rating of 2.5L/100km, or a petrol fuel consumption figure of 2.9L/100km. The 2021 figure of 95g/km would demand a 3.6L/100km diesel consumption figure, and 4.1L/100km for petrol.
“Today's set of proposals is setting the conditions for European manufacturers to lead the global energy transition rather than follow others. It will entice them to manufacture the best, cleanest and most competitive cars, hence regaining consumers' trust.” — Maros Sefcovic, Vice President (Energy), European Commission
These figures were put forward in a Driving Clean Mobility initiative proposal earlier this month, that aims to reduce greenhouse emissions by 40% on 1990 levels by 2030. Mobility is a sore point for the EU, as it accounts for some 22% of the bloc’s Co2 output, and needs serious agreement as to comply with the Paris Agreement on global emissions standards.
Interestingly, the EU isn’t pushing on a quota of zero-emissions vehicles the way some states and provinces in the US and China have, or requiring a selection of models that will produce below 50g/km as is common in some locales. Rather, they are plying €800-million in EV infrastructure improvement, and another €200-million into battery development (that’s $1.2-billion and $305-million in our dollars, respectively).
Meanwhile, automakers in Europe are not happy about this latest proposal. Already, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has described the proposed 30% reduction as “aggressive, when considering the low and fragmented market penetration” of non-combustion vehicles at present. ACEA secretary-general Erik Jonnaert said:
“Europe needs much more investment in recharging and refuelling infrastructure, before we can expect consumers to embrace such vehicles.” — Erik Jonnaert, Secretary-General, European Automobile Manufacturers Association
While the timeline of hitting targets by 2030 isn’t so much of an issue, it’s the reduction that’s the biggest problem. ACEA proposed a 20% reduction as opposed to the 30% reduction that the EU wants, which even then is considered “achievable, at a high but acceptable cost.”
In the meantime, the Volkswagen Group was far sharper in their response, with a spokesperson making it very clear that while the EU’s got great ideas for the future of mobility, they’re not being realistic insofar as its execution, as it appears like the onus of improved emissions rests solely on the industry.
"The EU Commission’s draft law contains some ambitious targets as well as expected specifications regarding CO2 reduction. The decisions to make provision for a percentage reduction by 2030 as well as the application of the principle of technological neutrality are positive. However, the draft fails to give answers to decisive issues which call for a political contribution. That calls for incentives, a review of existing tax regulations and favourable electricity prices. In essence, the commission has once again only presented a regulation for new vehicles and refrained from making any proposals concerning CO2 reduction for the existing fleet of almost 250 million vehicles. The decarbonisation of road fuels, for example, through 'power-to-gas' or via synthetic fuels, would certainly have merited more attention.” — Spokesperson for Volkswagen AG
Ever since the Dieselgate scandal broke, legislators have been cracking down on the industry, raiding offices, banning cars, and issuing stop-sale orders to cars suspected to be in violation of emissions laws. In a witch-hunt styled frenzy, governments and councils across the globe have started to introduce laws that, when not researched fully, can end up leaving lasting marks on the automotive sector. Heavy-handed moves like these really ought to be done in tandem with the industry, as not all mass-market carmakers will be capable of complying with stiff regulations in a cost-effective manner.
In the meantime, Australia still doesn’t have a solid sustainable-mobility plan. Just saying.
Stay tuned to CarShowroom for news updates as they come.