Skoda’s head of powertrains wants the European Union to broaden the scope of emission regulations to take into account CO2 created in the production of energy.
The EU currently sets car firms CO2 targets based on a fleet average output, measured at the exhaust. With the emissions targets set to tighten substantially in the coming years – and with heavy penalties for firms that don’t meet them – manufacturers are being led to develop full electric vehicles, which produce no CO2 at the tail pipe.
Skoda’s electrification strategy, part of a wider target by the Volkswagen Group, will start in 2019 with the introduction of a Superb PHEV in 2019, featuring a 1.4-litre 154bhp petrol engine and an 114bhp electric motor integrated into its dual clutch automatic gearbox. When working together, they will offer 215bhp, and offer around 45 miles of electric-only running.
But the EU figures only measure ‘tank to wheel’ emissions, and don’t take into account the CO2 used in producing energy. Skoda believes that considering this ‘well to wheel’ approach – and broadening it further to a ‘cradle to grave’ calculation that accounts for CO2 involved in producing and recycling a car – shows internal combustion engine-based technology can rival EVs for overall CO2 emissions.
“From a global point of view we believe the internal combustion engine is very competitive, but battery electric vehicles are locally clean,” said Martin Hrdlicka, Skoda's head of powertrains. “We think there are different possibilities [to reduce overall CO2 emissions], but at the moment it’s difficult to use them. The regulations mean for 2025-2030 we have to produce BEVs, because of how they measure the regulations.