Press Releases

Mattes: CO2 regulation is too demanding and offers too little promotion

Berlin, 17 December 2018

EU bodies reach agreement on CO2 targets for new vehicles in Europe – CO2 reductions by 2030 of 37.5 percent for passenger cars and 31 percent for vans

Representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council have reached agreement on a common proposal for the CO2 standard for passenger cars and vans for the period after 2021.

Under the proposal, passenger car manufacturers will have to reduce the CO2 output from their new vehicle fleet in the EU by 37.5 percent by 2030. CO2 emissions from vans will have to come down by 31 percent. Both vehicle categories will be subject to a binding interim target of 15 percent by 2025. All the reductions will be measured against reference values from 2021. The Council and Parliament have to give their approval before the regulations become binding.

Bernhard Mattes, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), commented:

“The German automotive industry supports a zero-emission future for mobility, but one that must be both affordable and feasible. The negotiated result sets stringent targets and does too little to foster new technologies. This regulation is too demanding and offers too little promotion. Right now, nobody knows how these agreed targets can be attained in the time available. Nowhere else in the world are there such strict CO2 goals. This represents a huge strain on the international competitiveness of the European automotive industry. The right goal – of zero-emission mobility – must be harmonized with expansion of the infrastructure, an equitable industrial policy and appropriate measures for safeguarding employment. The result of the negotiations does not demonstrate any such balance. It does not take into account factors such as the market situation and customer acceptance of electric mobility, falling sales of CO2-efficient diesel models and the fact that many fuel-saving technologies have already been exhausted. That weakens Europe as an industrial location and puts jobs at risk. Climate targets will only be effective if they are workable.

“We had therefore spoken out in favor of using the package of measures proposed by the EU with a reduction of 30 percent by 2030 as a basis. That was already very ambitious, but would have been feasible under certain conditions. Moreover, with that target level it would definitely have been possible to achieve the EU’s climate goals in a manner that was efficient for the national economies. There seems to be no objective rationale for tightening the targets.

“There are no effective incentives for innovations. It is true that on the initiative of the Council, better super-credits for plug-in hybrids have now been passed. However, overall there is too little promotion for electric mobility. The EU Member States must also assume responsibility – by significantly building up the charging infrastructure and applying proactive policies oriented to demand. At present, three quarters of all charging pillars for e-vehicles are located in only four countries, namely the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Netherlands. Yet the targets apply right across Europe.

“It is equally regrettable that the regulation does not do anything to encourage the use of alternative and renewable fuels (e-fuels). If the manufacturers are not given any means of offsetting e-fuels voluntarily against their individual fleet limit value, important CO2 reduction potentials will remain untapped. Furthermore, a tailored incentive system for vans would be necessary in view of their varying applications and smaller numbers produced.

“Unfortunately, the 31 percent target for vans is also out of touch with the technical reality in this segment. The development and product cycles of up to ten years are much longer than those for passenger cars. In addition, low fuel consumption has always been a key consideration for purchases of commercial vehicles, and so the market itself naturally promotes CO2 efficiency.”

Eckehart Rotter
Eckehart Rotter Head of Department Press

Tel: +49 30 897842-120 Fax: +49 30 897842-603
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