European Union Wants More Low Emission Cars

The European Union wants Auto manufacturers to focus on building more low emission cars. The EU announced a proposal to lower greenhouse gases by 40 percent. The proposal will be rolled out over time with 15 percent of the goal reached by 2025 and a 30 percent reduction by 2030. The emissions goal would take levels below those recorded in the 1990s.

After emissions cheating by auto manufacturer Volkswagen was exposed recently, EU regulators were forced to tighten their control. Several European governments have already supported those efforts by announcing plans over the next two decades to ban combustion-engine cars in favor low emission cars.

The EU plans to fine manufacturers that do not help with lowering emissions. The plan would impose penalties 95 euros for every gram of CO2 above the limit and for all new registered vehicles in that year. The standard for low-emissions is currently set at 50 grams per kilometer.

The bill, which took inspiration from a Californian climate policy, would also reward vehicle fleets that surpass the new benchmark set by regulators. One major difference from the Californian system is there will no set quotas and no penalty for failing to meet the absolute zero-emission target.

Countries like China, Japan and the United States already focusing on electric cars to address emissions concerns. The EU is optimistic that European manufacturers can do the same. Commission Vice President Marcos Sefcovic says, “the competition is here,” referring to the use of electric cars already being used by Brussels taxi companies.

To assist with the proposed bill, the European Union Commission is set to invest 800 million euros to support charging stations and another 200 million euros for battery development. “We want the European automotive industry to get back in the race for global leadership on clean vehicles,” European Union climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said.

Secretary General of European carmakers lobby ACEA, Erik Jonnaert said in a statement, “the current proposal is very aggressive when we consider the low and fragmented market penetration of alternatively-powered vehicles across Europe.” The statement also said that the 30 percent target was “overly challenging” and did not allow enough time for the industry to adjust.

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) believes the aggressive goal would stimulate a quick adoption of low emission cars abroad, including those commissioned for public service. “From a technical standpoint, more progress is definitely possible,” said Peter Mock, the ICCT’s EU managing director.

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