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10 November 2017

The European Commission announces new Clean Mobility plan

The European Commission has published its new proposals to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles by 30 percent by 2030 by also setting incentive schemes to deploy electric vehicles across EU countries.

The main plan is to encourage car manufacturers to scale up production of zero and low-emission cars and set a Clean Vehicles Directive.

Under the new plan, cars and vans will have to emit 15 percent less carbon dioxide by 2025 compared to 2021 levels, and 30 percent less by 2030.

The proposal has been characterised as ‘realistic’ by Maros Sefcovic, Vice President of the European Commission, who insisted that the plan constitutes a compromise between Europe’s ambitious plans and the costs that car manufacturers will have to bear to adapt to the new regulations.

Currently, automakers are required to achieve the average permitted emission of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometre for cars and 147 grams for light commercial vehicles by 2021.

Under the new proposals, companies that fail to meet the targets will have to pay fines of €95 ($110) per excess gram of CO2 per car.

Automakers that equip at least 30 percent of their fleet with electric or low-emission engines by 2030 will be given credits towards their carbon tally.

European car manufacturers and Germany’s electric vehicles warned against the proposal by claiming that the 30 percent target is overly challenging, calling for a reduction to a 20 percent instead  which would be “achievable at a high but acceptable cost”.

Erik Jonnaer Secretary General of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said: “The current proposal is very aggressive when we consider the low and fragmented market penetration of alternatively-powered vehicles across Europe to date”.

As reported by VOA news agency, Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s Foreign Minister sent a letter to the Commission arguingthat the timeframe for emissions cuts “mustn’t be too restrictive”.

The letter caused reactions from the Ministry of Environment, which stressed that “the contents of this letter weren't coordinated within the Cabinet”, spokewoman Friederike Langenbruch said.

The Commission has calculated that for an average new car that will be registered in 2030, the additional manufacturing costs would be at €1,000, and for an average van €900.

However, these costs are expected to be significantly lower than the fuel savings which consumers will benefit over a vehicle’s lifetime.

The Commission’s new plan also aims to put the European car industry back on track to become more competitive and adapt faster to the increasingly changing transportation landscape.

It said: "The EU automotive industry risks losing its technological leadership in particular with respect to zero- and low-emission vehicles, with the US, Japan, South Korea and China moving ahead very quickly in this segment”.

Jean-Claude Juncker, Commission President said: “I want Europe to be the leader when it comes to the fight against climate change”.

He added: “Set against the collapse of ambition in the United States, Europe must ensure we make our planet great again”.

Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy said: “Our targets are ambitious, cost-effective and enforceable. With the 2025 intermediary targets, we will kick-start investments already now. With the 2030 targets, we are giving stability and direction to keep up these investments”.

Under the new plan, the Commission will make €800mavailable to improve charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and €200m for battery development.

You can read more on the new Clean Mobility plan here

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