Emissions targets set by Europe's rule makers will force manufacturers to reduce average CO2 emissions of new cars by more than 25 per cent by 2020
18 August 2014

New emissions targets set by the European Union are forcing car manufacturers to think hard about how they'll lower average CO2 emissions across their fleets before the end of the decade.

According to figures produced by International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), the average CO2 emissions of new cars have fallen from 160g/km in 2006 to 132g/km in 2012, a drop of about 17 per cent.

Manufacturers must also comply with an average fleet rating of 130g/km by the end of next year, a target which most firms expect to meet. However, European rule makers have specified a target of just 95g/km by 2020.

late tweak to the regulations means that only 95 per cent of new cars have to hit the 2020 targets. However, 100 per cent of new vehicles will have to comply by 2021.

The drop from the 2015 target to the 2020 target is an average reduction in fuel consumption of about 27 per cent, something that will clearly be a challenge for all manufacturers.

The 95g/km average doesn’t apply exactly to each manufacturer. Each brand has its own target, because the CO2 target figure is calculated by taking into account the average weight of a brand’s vehicles. 

One of the impacts of the new system is that Fiat, which has the lightest vehicles at an average of 1209kg, has to meet an average CO2 target of 85g/km. Daimler, which has the heaviest vehicle fleet, at 1583kg, has a CO2 target of 101g/km for 2020.

These fuel efficiency figures and targets have been calculated by using the standard NEDC (New European Driving Cycle). However, the EU says that it is committed to bringing in a new fuel economy test before 2020, which could make hitting the CO2 targets even more difficult.

The new fuel economy test is called the ‘World-Harmonized Light-duty Vehicles Test Procedure’ (WLTP). It was adopted by the United Nations Working Party on Pollution and Energy last November. 

The WLTP is designed to be a closer representation of real-world driving conditions and it has been developed using a database of 460,000 miles of global driving data. 

In its report, the ICCT admits that the NEDC test does not reflect CO2 output in “real-world” conditions. Indeed, it says that the NEDC fuel consumption figures could be inaccurate by “up to 25 per cent”. It says that the new WLTP will reduce this gap “to some extent”. 

Hitting the 95g/km targets will be difficult and expensive for nearly all of Europe’s car makers. Moving the goalposts by introducing WLTP to calculate emissions could make the situation even more challenging and expensive.

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Our Verdict

Fiat Panda

A very fine multi-use little car that offers an enticing ownership proposition

18 August 2014
Have most cars got any more economical really? I know the official CO2 has fallen hugely, but by introduction of things like the Fiat twin air which are lucky to get within 40% of the EU figures. And then we have plug in hybrids. Of course they are economical, we dont count the electricity. And the saddest thing is that all the extra complicated technology that gets the good test results costs a lot more for us the consumer, and is often the cause of unreliability. So will cars of the future pass ever stricter tests mainly by finding better ways of passing the tests?

18 August 2014
artill wrote:

Have most cars got any more economical really? I know the official CO2 has fallen hugely, but by introduction of things like the Fiat twin air which are lucky to get within 40% of the EU figures. And then we have plug in hybrids. Of course they are economical, we dont count the electricity. And the saddest thing is that all the extra complicated technology that gets the good test results costs a lot more for us the consumer, and is often the cause of unreliability. So will cars of the future pass ever stricter tests mainly by finding better ways of passing the tests?

The only advantage for buyers is that we've to pay lower road taxes especially if you happen to be buying a dirty fuel (diesel) car. The difference in MPG out of laboratories is marginal and has been reported to be lower by up to 30 per cent than the claimed figures.

18 August 2014
Car manufacturers need to start making cars smaller, instead of successive model generations getting bigger and bigger, make more use of lightweight materials and stop larding cars up with toys most owners never use.

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

18 August 2014
I think Fiat will be happy to still be selling any cars by 2020!

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

18 August 2014
Just shows the perils of non-experts legislating for something that they don't fully understand. Seems to be something that the EU politicians and bureaucrats are particularly good at. What they really need to do is tackle all emissions, not just CO2. Particulates and other gasses are far more damaging than CO2 (a fact that is starting to be recognised by some legislators). What the EU legislators have got wrong surely is the differential between makers with heavy and light cars - surely the comparison between Fiat and Daimler quoted has it the wrong way round ? Makers of lighter and more economical cars (thus emitting lower emissions) should be rewarded, not penalised by having to hit stricter targets, and makers of heavy vehicles should be penalised to encourage them to make lighter and more economical vehicles. Most modern cars are far too complicated with far too short real-world lives before they become uneconomical to repair etc. Citroen have the right idea with the C4 Cactus. And please don't get me started on all the new "connectivity for cars" trickery that is looming on the horizon ..........


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

18 August 2014
ordinary bloke wrote:

Just shows the perils of non-experts legislating for something that they don't fully understand. Seems to be something that the EU politicians and bureaucrats are particularly good at. What they really need to do is tackle all emissions, not just CO2. Particulates and other gasses are far more damaging than CO2 (a fact that is starting to be recognised by some legislators).

I was about to say more needed to be done to reduce NoX, particulates and other emissions that are affecting peoples health.

"Why is http://www.nanoflowcell.com not getting more media attention? It could be the future... Now!"

18 August 2014
Remember it gets more and more difficult to make successive improvements with the result that manufacturers will be doing well to just stabilise their cars' CO2 when the new WLTP test comes along. All the easy "quick fixes" have now been adopted, so further improvements perhaps through significant weight reduction and massive hybridisation of whole vehicle fleets will be expensive indeed.
As I see it, manufacturers will just pay the fines for non compliance - which will be passed on to the consumer with inevitable rises in car prices.

18 August 2014
LP in Brighton wrote:

As I see it, manufacturers will just pay the fines for non compliance - which will be passed on to the consumer with inevitable rises in car prices.

To be honest, I think that seems more than likely. And I hope that's the case, because then it will hopefully prove that the regulations are too demanding. Also, it will mean cars won't be even more complex than they already are in order to meet the targets.

18 August 2014
Cars that are economical in the real world often are not on test cycles, and vice versa. And given that plug-in hybrids cheat their way through the tests, I can see many manufacturers resorting to those. Which is more expensive for buyers, and in the long run there's a lot more to go (expensively) wrong. And let's not forget that the real world consumption will be far from impressive.

TS7

18 August 2014
... will help air quality no end.

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