Europe could lose its lead in fuel efficient cars, warns campaign group Transport Environment (TE).
The EU currently has a goal of lowering CO2 emissions to an average of 130 g/km by 2015, but is apparently considering tightening the target to 95 g/km by 2020. But even this might not be enough to secure the region’s leading position in fuel saving technologies, says TE.
“The biggest problem with this proposal is the absence of a vision for progress beyond 2020,” says programme manager at TE Greg Archer. “This is going to erode the leadership the European automotive industry has achieved.”
The US administration under Barack Obama’s leadership is making strides in fuel efficiency and will be more stringent by 2025 than the EU.
“There is a real danger that Europe is going to lose its competitive edge in low carbon vehicles if suppliers don’t get the investment certainty needed to develop advanced technologies,” warns Archer.
Without tighter regulations beyond 2020, of 80 g/km CO2 for example, the market for next generation electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles could also stall.
More stringent EU regulations would also be good news for drivers. The existing proposals will save drivers an average of €500 a year in fuel costs, but a target of 80 g/km would save a further €150.
“There is no doubt that legislation provides a massive boost to innovation, and costs fall over time. The EU should be bolder this time around,” says Archer.
For further information:
Sales of Toyota hybrids top 4 million worldwide (24-May)
Norway laps up 1000 Nissan LEAFs in six months (30-Apr)
UK new car emissions fall by 4.2% in 2011 (18-Apr)
Obama launches challenge to get electric cars on the road (9-Mar)
Article source: http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/i/5168/