Research shows major European carmakers will hit emissions targets too easily

Weaker EU vehicle emissions targets could allow Europe’s biggest carmaker to produce millions more petrol and diesel cars by 2030 than is needed in a “wasted decade” to reduce carbon pollution, according to a report.

An analysis of the car industry’s sales plans for electric vehicles, shared exclusively with the Guardian by Transport and Environment (T&E), a thinktank and campaign group, showed that the manufacturer could meet its 2030 EU carbon emissions target by four years. can leave for

However, the report warns that manufacturers may remain close to their minimum requirements, as has been the case in recent years – opening up their sales potential to the industry. More profitable petrol and diesel market,

Based on the car industry’s publicly announced commitments to EV production, the study shows what can be achieved and where sales volume will be if they are kept in line with EU emissions regulations.

Few automakers can embrace the electric revolution wholeheartedly. But T&E said leaving the rules unchanged would jeopardize sales of 18m battery-powered models and result in an additional 55m tonnes of CO production.2 Pollution – More than the annual emissions of all cars in Spain.

T&E said carmakers are easier targets if they sell heavier vehicles, increasing sales of high-emissions SUVs and plug-in hybrid models, which — when not charged — can pollute more than fossil fuel engines. .

The growth in SUV sales means that average engine emissions from the three carmakers are actually higher than they were five years ago — even as they beat their fleets by building new electric cars together. They were: Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler – all of which last week Cop 26. signed a pledge in To sell only zero-emissions cars by 2040.

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Alex Keynes, T&E’s Clean Vehicles Manager, said: “The electric vehicle boom has been driven by EU clean car regulations, but will falter unless MPs step in. Now is the time that we are going through a wasted decade. Set ambitious goals properly to avoid in the race to decarbonize cars.”

Under current rules, carmakers must reduce emissions by 15% relative to 2025 levels by 2025, and a proposed 55% by 2030 – a bigger cut than previously planned. However, T&E argued that a 55% cut is still too generous, arguing that emissions should drop by 80% by 2030 – a level that will force carmakers to accelerate from their current plans.

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has said that even a 55% carbon reduction target would be “very challenging” and warned that a ban on “single technology” would not be rational, due to low electric charger provision in some countries.

The UK emissions regulations do not cover the UK, where carmakers will have to report emissions separately after Brexit. However, the UK has almost copied the same rules that came into force on 1 January, and almost half of all cars manufactured in UK factories are exported to the EU.

A Daimler spokesman said Mercedes-Benz will be ready to go all-electric at the end of the decade, where market conditions allow. He added that the UK has seen “an increase in customer demand for SUVs in recent years”.

A Jaguar Land Rover spokesman said electrification was at the heart of its new “electric-first” strategy, with battery versions available for all models by 2030.

Volvo said emissions data showed it was “one of the industry leaders in reducing CO”.2 Rising electric and plug-in hybrid sales have led to emissions from the cars it sells. The carmaker plans to sell only electric cars by 2030 and be “climate-neutral” by 2040.

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An ACEA spokesperson said manufacturer CO. are fully committed to bringing2 To reduce emissions to zero and support the EU’s goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2050.

He said the car industry’s investment in EVs was outpacing funding for charging infrastructure, warning that a failure to increase spending on the network could stall electric car uptake.

“The efforts of the auto industry must be met with an equal level of ambition by the EU and its member states. It is essential that all players work together to create the right supporting frameworks that drive consumers towards cleaner mobility options, And thus achieve our common goal of reaching climate neutrality in Europe.”