FRANKFURT/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European carmakers offered a further 20 percent cut in average carbon dioxide emissions for their vehicles in the next round of EU goals currently being drawn up, but said full compliance should wait until 2030 and remain conditional on consumer uptake of electrified cars.
The industry needs a “clear and foreseeable time frame” for emission goals beyond 2021, when a new limit of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer is due to enter force, said Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche, who currently chairs ACEA, the main European carmakers’ association.
Europe’s powerful car industry has come under fire since Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) admitted to cheating on emission tests in the United States.
The further 20 percent cut proposed by ACEA would reduce average CO2 emission goals to 76 grams per kilometer.
Full implementation of the next round of goals should be conditional on consumer acceptance of the dozens of electric cars and rechargeable hybrids currently in development, Zetsche told reporters at the Frankfurt auto show.
During a mid-term review in 2025 the 20 percent reduction goal could be either raised or lowered depending not only on the uptake of electric cars but also on the availability of battery re-charging infrastructure, he added.
“This conditionality principle links Europe’s long-term climate objectives to the reality of the market,” he said.
Zetsche said the latest generation of diesel vehicles needed to remain part of the industry’s efforts to decarbonize road transport as long as the market share of electric vehicles remained low.
According to ACEA data, chargeable electric vehicles made up 1.2 percent of new car sales in the first half of this year.
“Any rash move away from this technology (diesel) will make it more difficult for our industry to meet the European Commission targets,” he said.