After the US government weakened its target to reduce emissions from new cars after pressure from the auto industry, now it’s Europe’s turn to be in a similar situation.
The European Council is pushing for a 35% reduction in CO2 emissions from new cars by 2030, which is not as aggressive as most countries have asked for after pressure from the German auto industry.
The European Parliament was pushing for its own target of 40% by 2030.
The CO2 reduction effort would be distributed among manufacturers on the basis of the average mass of their vehicle fleet, which would require them to increase the mix of all-electric vehicles in their sales.
Germany, where a large part of the European auto industry is located, lobbied for no more than 30% reduction in emissions from new cars.
Last night, the Council agreed to a compromise with less aggressive new targets for the CO2 emissions of cars and vans:
They also agreed on “an incentive mechanism for zero- and low-emission vehicles such as fully electric cars or plug-in hybrid vehicles as regards passenger cars” and they will account for ZLEVs differently in markets with a lower penetration rate.
Now that the council has agreed on a proposal, they will start negotiations with the European Parliament today.
It’s always disappointing when emission reduction goals are being weakened from lobbying because we are talking about industries literally asking to be able to sell products that we know are resulting in deaths and having a grave impact on the environment.
And in this case, we know that there are alternatives.
While it’s disappointing that we can not get together at a political level and fix this, I believe it won’t matter much in the next few years.
I think it’s a problem that will be fixed at a technological and market level.
The automakers serious enough about electric vehicles are going to come out with enough good electric models in the next few years that it will be hard for a buyer in their right mind to buy anything that is not electric.
We will see a market shift and those who didn’t prepare for it and instead fought it at a political level will suffer the most.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.