The discussions have not been developed without reproach. The builders from Germany put pressure on the European Commission to allow a more relaxed set of rules than initially proposed by the European Parliament. Germany has made serious efforts to ensure its luxury car makers, such as BMW and Daimler, can continue to produce, less fuel efficient, thus more polluting cars.
The German car manufacturers’ motivation was related to the premium models in their portfolios, which bring significant revenue to European Union both through their costs and the relevant fees, as well as the jobs they provided. Unfortunately, these cars have limitations in terms of reducing CO2 emissions, hence the request of the Germans in favor of leniency.
The European Commission’s new rules will apply gradually for each manufacturer depending on the measures taken in the past in this regard. The exceptions as used in the past still remain valid. Specifically, the manufacturers who produce less than 10,000 cars per year can apply for smaller reductions in CO2 emissions, and car makers may join in groups to work together in order to reduce CO2 emissions of the vehicles in their portfolios.
German auto makers complain that harsher emissions limits favor French brands like Renault, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Italy’s Fiat, companies that primarily sell smaller cars with low emissions.
Back in 2007, a car maker had to score an average of 158.7 grams CO2 per kilometer if it didn’t want to be charged extra by the European Union. For the year 2015, the European Commission has set a target of 130 grams per kilometer. The new target of 95 grams CO2 per kilometer at level fleet represents a reduction of 40 percent compared to the values required for 2007. In addition to the reducing of atmospheric pollution, the new rules will provide customers with more efficient cars. To achieve these targets a car with a petrol engine will have an average consumption of 4.1 liters per 100 km, while the diesel models will need to obtain an average consumption of 3.6 liters per 100 km. Of course, we’re talking about an average at range level for the portfolio of a manufacturer, so the aforementioned values should not be taken as strict thresholds that need obeying.
“This agreement clearly represents a win-win for climate, consumers, innovation and jobs and provides another important step towards a competitive, low-carbon economy,” said Irish Environment Minister Phil Hogan in a statement. Ireland is the holder of the EU presidency.
“It could have been even better for drivers, jobs and the EU economy if decision-makers had focused on the significant long-term benefits of more fuel efficient cars instead of the narrow, short-term interests of some carmakers,” said Transport & Environment group’s spokesman Greg Archer in a statement supporting the toughening of emission regulations.