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Wissmann: Targets are demanding, but realistic

Berlin, 05 November 2013

“The limit value set for the year 2020, of 147 g CO2/km, is exceptionally challenging and will demand a good deal from our companies, without being excessive. This Regulation is reasonable because it is oriented on what is economically and technically feasible,” said Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). He was commenting on today’s decision by the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment concerning the CO2 legislation for vans.

It was welcome, Wissmann added, that at present there was no target for the period after 2020. "Fixing requirements at this stage for 2025 would just be trying to read the tea leaves, because as yet there are no valid cost-benefit studies,” the VDA president emphasised. Furthermore, it is still completely unknown when alternative drive trains will become more firmly established in light commercial vehicles. Wissmann said, “For this reason a long-term target of this type cannot seriously be defined for several more years.”

The Regulation in force prescribes a level of 175 g/km CO2 for 2017. So the new value of 147 grams means saving 28 g CO2/km in just three years. “This can only be met if far more vehicles with alternative propulsion systems come onto the market. It is therefore regrettable that the Regulation does not envisage any super credits for especially economical vans,” Wissmann said. “Electric mobility has huge potential in the light commercial vehicle segment in particular. Here an opportunity is being lost to provide an effective boost for these currently expensive drive trains.”

On the other hand Wissmann welcomed the retention of the “eco innovations.” This refers to consumption-reducing technologies that can only be considered outside the conventional measuring procedure and offset from the fleet average with up to 7 grams. “This instrument is right and important, because among manufacturers and suppliers it leads to stimulating competition in innovation, which benefits not only the environment but also the consumers,” the VDA president said.

Overall, Wissmann continued, the CO2 Regulation represented a balanced compromise for light commercial vehicles. He stressed, “The limit values have been set such that all manufacturers in Europe have a chance of satisfying them. It would be desirable for the Council and Parliament to find similarly reasonable and realistic solutions in the approaching decisions on the requirements for passenger cars.”

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