By Automotive News Europe
Brussels -- The European Commission is set to propose tighter standards fCO2 emissions for new EU cars, according to a draft proposal that is likely to divide the auto industry.
The proposal, expected to be made public next month, would make binding a 2020 goal to lower CO2 emissions to an average of 95 g/km. So far it is only a provisional, non-binding goal and compares with an existing, binding target of 130 g/km by 2015.
Some industry representatives have said tougher binding standards would be extremely challenging. Others have said they are achievable and would help to make the 27-country European Union's struggling car industry more competitive as international rivals catch up with environmental standards.
Fines for non-compliance would be kept at existing levels of Euro 95 for every gram over target per vehicle.
The draft also proposes setting long-term CO2 standards for new passenger cars for 2025 and 2030 by 31 Dec 2014 at the latest, if such further targets are then deemed appropriate.
As part of its efforts to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, the EU in 2009 adopted rules that require carmakers to cut average car emissions to 130g/km of CO2 by 2015. Carmakers are on course to meet that as the 2011 fleet average was 136.1 g/km.
An impact assessment on the proposed new law says a roughly 25 percent reduction in car and van fuel consumption would save an estimated Euro 25 billion ($31.2 billion) per year. It also says estimated fuel savings from implementing the 2020 target would more than compensate for the expected cost of compliance.
For the average motorist, fuel savings of around Euro 500/yr would stem from the 95 g/km target in 2020, based on a driving distance of 20 000 km/yr and a fuel cost of Euro 1.4/litre.
The Commission proposal, once made public, will have to go through a long EU legislative process before it can take effect. The Commission declined to comment on the proposals before they are officially made public.
(This article first appeared on our sister publication, Automotive News Europe).