Five out of seven European carmakers are on track to meet their CO2 targets by the 2021 deadline if they keep progressing as they have since the introduction of the law in 2008, T&E’s 2014 cars and CO2 report reveals. The report, in its 9th edition, monitors the annual progress made by vehicle manufacturers to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new cars.
If they continue their pace of progress made in the past six years, Volvo, Toyota, Peugeot-Citroen, Renault, Ford and Daimler will all hit their targets early while VW and Nissan are on schedule. On the other hand, if they don’t accelerate their current rate of CO2 reduction Fiat would miss their target by one year (2022) and BMW by three years (2024). Several Asian carmakers will have to increase their rate of progress because otherwise they will exceed their targets by several years: Suzuki (2023); Hyundai and Mazda (2025); Honda (2027). These companies have just announced a collaboration to improve the efficiency of engines by 30% by 2020. This analysis does not include the fact that carmakers can use flexibilities in the law which make compliance easier, such as ‘supercredits’ for the amount of electric vehicles they will sell in 2021.
The findings contradict claims by the German industry that premium car brands needed more time to meet the 95g of CO2/km target. The data shows that the ability of car brands to meet fuel efficiency standards resides in company strategies rather than the type and size of cars they produce.
T&E clean vehicles manager Greg Archer said: 'The report shows that most European carmakers are well positioned to hit their CO2 targets, irrespective of the size and type of vehicle they sell. Industry claims to the contrary have just been scaremongering. But some carmakers are beginning to lag behind and must raise their game to hit their targets.'In 2013, all European manufacturers achieved their 2015 targets at least two years ahead of schedule. These achievements contrast with carmakers’ claims at the time the law was being negotiated that, “A vehicle-related target of 130 grams CO2/km, as proposed by the Commission, is not feasible.”
Last year, Renault displaced Fiat as the manufacturer of the lowest-carbon, most fuel-efficient vehicles. Volvo reduced the emissions of its fleet by 8%, the biggest annual reduction recorded in 2013.
The European Parliament now supports a target range for 2025 of 68-78g/km that the European Commission has a requirement to analyse. In April, EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard told the European Parliament it would consult on a 2025 target in May 2014, but this consultation has not yet happened.
“With most carmakers making good progress towards 2021 goals, the European Commission needs to consult on 2025 targets as it promised Members of the European Parliament it would,” Archer concluded.
Cars are responsible for 15% of Europe’s total CO2 emissions and are the single largest source of emissions in the transport sector. The EU’s first obligatory rules on carbon emissions require car manufacturers to limit their average car to a maximum of 130 grams of CO2 per km by 2015, and 95g by 2021.