Advertisement

Carmakers push European Commission to change CO2 targets in wake of coronavirus 

Combination of tight CO2 targets and closed dealerships see car makers ask EC “for a delay in the application of certain rules”

A number of car makers have written to the European Commission asking if “certain rules” can be changed due to difficulties related to the coronavirus outbreak. Auto Express understands the requested changes concern whether tough carbon dioxide targets for 2020 can be delayed.

Carmakers must ensure all the cars they sell emit - on average across all sales - no more than 95g/km of carbon dioxide (CO2) from 2020 and 2021, or face huge fines from the Commission. But with dealerships closed across Europe as countries go into lockdown to fight the coronavirus outbreak, manufacturers are worried that they are unable to sell the cleaner cars necessary for them to meet the 95g/km targets.

Auto Express understands that particular concerns surround ‘super-credits’ - which allow each car with CO2 emissions of 50g/km or less that is sold to effectively count as two low-emission cars, greatly reducing recorded fleet average emissions.

Advertisement - Article continues below

But with dealerships closed, the electric cars and plug-in hybrids that would allow those super-credits to be claimed cannot be sold. The super-credit system is most generous this year, with each sub-50g/km car sold counting for two vehicles in 2020, but only 1.67 in 2021, and 1.33 vehicles in 2022. With dealerships potentially closed for months, manufacturers are therefore missing out on the most advantageous time for selling EVs and PHEVs.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

A spokesperson for the European Commission (EC) told Auto Express: “The Commission has received a letter from the car industry asking for a delay in the application of certain rules. We will reply to this letter in due course.”

The EC said it would “use all the tools at our disposal and supporting Member States to mitigate the substantial negative socio-economic consequences of the Coronavirus outbreak.” It added these measures “need to be carefully targeted to adequately and efficiently alleviate the socio-economic consequences of the current crisis where it is most urgently needed.”

Fines for not meeting the targets are tough, to the point of being potentially crippling for some firms. Every gram of carbon dioxide that every car emits over the limit leads to a fine of €95 (£83), potentially leading to billions of pounds worth of penalties. The rules have seen Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) pay Tesla to ‘pool’ emissions with the EV maker in order to meet the targets. The move was rumoured to have cost FCA hundreds of millions of Euros, but this move would potentially be less than any CO2-related fines.

Do you think the European Commission should change the CO2 targets? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Coronavirus: what does it mean for cars and motorists?
News

Coronavirus: what does it mean for cars and motorists?

The global Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on life in the UK. Here’s everything you need to know about how it affects cars, motorists and the…
27 May 2020
Vauxhall plans for re-opening of Ellesmere Port plant could be delayed
Vauxhall

Vauxhall plans for re-opening of Ellesmere Port plant could be delayed

Preparations are being made to re-open Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port factory following coronavirus shutdown but a delay beyond September is likely
8 Jul 2020
Deaths on UK’s major road network reach eight-year high
Car crash, insurance, write-off, accident
Consumer news

Deaths on UK’s major road network reach eight-year high

Official figures reveal an increase in fatalities on Strategic Road Network, with collisions costing over £1 billion in a year
7 Jul 2020
New car sales reach 145,000 in June as dealers reopen
News

New car sales reach 145,000 in June as dealers reopen

New car registrations were down 34.9 per cent year-on-year in June 2020, with showrooms having reopened to customers
6 Jul 2020

Most Popular

New Polestar 2 2020 review
Polestar 2 Hatchback

New Polestar 2 2020 review

We get behind the wheel of the new Polestar 2 to see if it can rival the Tesla Model 3
7 Jul 2020
New Cupra el-Born electric hot hatch offers 310-mile range
Cupra el-Born

New Cupra el-Born electric hot hatch offers 310-mile range

The sporty Cupra el-Born is the Spanish brand’s first all-electric vehicle – and it has a maximum claimed range of 310 miles
8 Jul 2020
New Ineos Grenadier 4x4: prices, specs and video of the Land Rover Defender rival
Ineos Grenadier

New Ineos Grenadier 4x4: prices, specs and video of the Land Rover Defender rival

The Ineos Grenadier will be built in Wales and will use BMW engines, but fuel-cell electrification is also likely in the future
7 Jul 2020