EU tightened emission limits for cars with enginesApril 5, 2019
The European Union has tightened carbon emission restrictions for cars with ICE in an attempt to accelerate the development of electric vehicles.
The European Parliament set a target for reducing CO2 emissions by 37.5% by 2030 compared with the limit for 2021. At the March 27 vote in Strasbourg (France), the meeting set a temporary goal of reducing CO2 emissions for cars by 15% by 2025. Legislation also set CO2 emission standards for new minibuses (31%) by 2030.
EU governments have already announced support for new CO2 emission standards after concluding an agreement with 751 representatives of parliament in December.
About 15 million cars with internal combustion engines are sold every year in the EU, with cars accounting for more than a tenth of CO2 emissions. The share of electric vehicles in Europe is about 1.5%.
The current EU average CO2 emissions for cars are 130 grams per kilometer, set from 2015 and 95 grams per kilometer from 2021.
More stringent restrictions on carbon emissions, set by the European Parliament, will allow automakers to use loopholes in rules and laws to stimulate sales of plug-in hybrid cars.
Currently, plug-in hybrids are often large crossovers, which are rarely charged because of the very limited power reserve on one charge, and they emit as much or even more CO2 than diesel or gasoline cars. Automakers will be able to comply with the new rules, selling almost 1.7 million plug-in hybrid cars every year since 2025 and almost 4 million in 2030.
National governments can prevent the emergence of a large number of plug-hybrids as intermediate models between hybrids and clean electric vehicles. The German Finance Minister recently proposed that the power reserve on a single charge of plug-in hybrids be at least 80 km.
Yulia Poliskanova, a manager at T & E, believes that European CO2 emission limits for cars could be a breakthrough for electromobility, but regulators have a lot of work to do. National governments should limit incentives for hybrid cars. Otherwise, automakers can take the path of least resistance and sell plug-in hybrids that never charge and emit as much carbon dioxide as diesel or gasoline engines with ICE.
Emission rules and standards have been poorly developed, and automakers will be greatly tempted to bypass the system. The commission can fix this by conducting annual monitoring of the registration of electric vehicles and canceling credits for the sale of electric vehicles if violations are detected.
Last year, the European Parliament and the EU heads of state agreed to reduce emissions from new cars and minibuses by 15% in 2025 and by 37.5% in 2030, based on 2021 levels. Selling more electric cars will allow automakers to reduce their CO2 reduction targets to 10.8% in 2025 and 34.4% in 2030.
Transport is the only sector in the EU that has not recorded any significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990. Data from the European Environment Agency show that of all modes of transport in the EU, road transport produces the largest share of greenhouse gases (72.9% in 2016), and they account for about 20% of total GHG emissions in the EU.
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