Experts warn the cost of producing greener cars could prove to be too great for some manufacturers
3 November 2014

The extra costs of building more fuel-efficient cars could prove ruinous to some European manufacturers, experts have warned. 

According to a study by ISI Automotive, the automotive industry as a whole will have to spend “around £10bn between now and 2022” in order to comply with the EU’s fleet average C02 target figure of 95g/km.

ISI said most of what in engineering terms is “low-hanging fruit”, such as downsized engines and a greater focus on low rolling resistance and aerodynamic efficiency, has already been exploited, but making the next step in fuel efficiency will be much more expensive.

“Having studied reports from the European Environment Agency, the International Council on Clean Transport and the European Commission, we think that these [new generation] cars will require an extra £842 in [engineering] content,” said ISI’s report.

Although this amount might not seem huge, it is a significant percentage of the factory cost of building a car. The average mass-market manufacturer only makes a profit margin of between £250 and £320 per car. 

According to a report by the International Council on Clean Transportation quoted by ISI, if the EU targets a new C02 fleet average of 80g/km for 2025, the cost of the extra engineering content could rise to £1100 more than that of today’s typical Golf-sized diesel cars.

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Our Verdict

Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is an easy and very visible route to greenness

3 November 2014
There is no evidence linking the temperature of the planet to vehicle fumes. Nothing, nada, nil. Even the notion seems ridiculous. And yet the EU still peddles its shameful dogma of CO2 environmentalism, wasting taxes and depriving worthier causes of vital investment.

3 November 2014
Norma Smellons wrote:

There is no evidence linking the temperature of the planet to vehicle fumes. Nothing, nada, nil. Even the notion seems ridiculous. And yet the EU still peddles its shameful dogma of CO2 environmentalism, wasting taxes and depriving worthier causes of vital investment.

While I cannot confirm or deny the Global Warming issue, I can as a regular cyclist/pedestrian say that the reduction in obvious fumes has made the City a much nicer place to be. I can remember cycling through London in the 80's and getting headaches from the fumes I was inhaling. Today the air "appears" to be much cleaner.

 

3 November 2014
Norma Smellons wrote:

There is no evidence linking the temperature of the planet to vehicle fumes. Nothing, nada, nil. Even the notion seems ridiculous. And yet the EU still peddles its shameful dogma of CO2 environmentalism, wasting taxes and depriving worthier causes of vital investment.

Being of a certain age, of course, over the years, the 5th of November tends to stick in your mind. And in particular the weather on that evening. Bit like the weather over Christmas, over the years. Deep snow, usually around February, and November, always cold and very often wet.

Not now. Late October/early November, out without a coat. Almost sunbathing weather. Only used my heated front windscreen twice last year to clear frost off the front screen. I blame the bees for not not fanning the air with their little wings. Now they're all gone, nothing to keep the atmosphere cool. Nothing to do with the neonicotinoids, obviously.

Same goes for cars and CO2. For every gramme your car produces, the cement industry produces about a tonne. Aircraft fuel? Untaxed. World? Too far gone. We can't be bothered to do any more the re-arrange the deck chairs. Half the wild animals in the world gone. The other half won't be far behind... It was nice while it lasted, though. I will miss it when I'm gone.

3 November 2014
Would be to spend this money on a cure for cancer. All those in favour?
Look, vehicle exhausts do emit carbon dioxide, there's no point denying it. It's not a "fume" or a "pollutant " -there's plenty of it about in the atmosphere with or without cars and I believe the concentration can be demonstrated to have been higher in the past, millennia ago, than it is now. The contribution from road transport is tiny, that's also a fact.
Let's spend the cash on something useful.
BTW we just got rid of the carbon tax here, by voting the loonies out who introduced it.
You can do the same! People of Europe, rise up! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

Aussie Rob - a view from down under

3 November 2014
So long as we have needlessly heavy cars powered by inefficient IC engines (typically wasting around 70% of their energy as heat) and using braking systems which dissipate all kinetic energy as heat instead of recovering it, then I think any R&D money spent on improving matters is worthwhile.
Today's cars are simply too heavy, inefficient and cheap.

3 November 2014
First of all, ISI are the same group of muppets who are convinced tesla's sales will increase 10 fold in 5 years to sell 500k cars!! They have the automotive analytical prowess of an ape!!!.........................How did they even come up with the figure that car manufacturers need to spend 10 bill over the next 8 years increasing car prices by 1k.........................Again its a report with results with no factual data backing up their research?!!...............................Auto makers spend a 100 billion dollars annually and it increases at 8% YoY. So as per this report only 2% of their R&D spending by 2022 is earmarked for improvements of fuel efficiencies and emissions?! Really?!!.................And is the warning so scary that they cant recover the said '1k' increase in price. Is this taking into account inflation?!...........For some reason of late the 'experts' in Autocar have been engrossed by ISI's 'research' and subsequent findings!! I hope they stop just simply printing media releases and actually use their own brains to question the studies!!

3 November 2014
The cleaner air you refer to relates to particulate reduction, the effect of catalytic converters and improvements in fuel. It has nothing to do with the cult of CO2. Just imagine how much cleaner the air we breathe might have been had the EU not wasted the last fifteen years pursuing something they could never have hoped to achieve.

3 November 2014
There's little point wasting billions and billions of pounds on tweaks to cars that fail to translate in real life driving conditions.

3 November 2014
...the motor industry has shrieked, "This will destroy us!"

They still appear to be here.

3 November 2014
Just Capitalism in action. I wonder which direction the market would move if just left to Capitalism. Would the consumer choose "green"?

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