By on June 28, 2013

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In the face of potential CO2 regulations that would mandate tough emissions regulations for new cars in the Eurozone, Germany is doing its best to shut them down completely. And the rest of the EU, along with some OEMs, are not happy about it.

The EU is looking to mandate an average fleet emissions of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer for new cars sold in 2020. This is roughly equivalent to what a current model Prius emits, and would understandably require a serious effort on the part of OEMs to meet these targets. If you’re someone like PSA , Fiat or Renault, that specializes in small, highly efficient engines, this isn’t such a big deal. Current fleet averages for the EU are at 132 grams per kilometer

On the other hand, this is not good for the German marques. Companies like BMW, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz will suffer the most, especially their performance car lineups. According to Automotive News Europe, Germany has been doing everything it can to make sure that its manufacturers get away unscathed

Germany has been lobbying for weeks to shelter its premium car sector from the tighter regulations by campaigning for loopholes, known as supercredits. These allow manufacturers to carry on producing vehicles with high emissions provided they also make some very low emissions vehicles.

On Monday, Ireland brokered a compromise deal that allowed automakers to continue to offset sales of electric and other green vehicles against those of cars with high emissions, but the agreement achieved less than Germany had hoped for.

Instead of a compromise, ANE reports that Germany is now looking to overturn the whole thing, since they have given up on trying to change the agreement itself. This would understandably upset many in the environmentally conscious Eurozone, but it would also mean increased longevity for cars like the Mercedes-Benz SLS, which wouldn’t be the same with a 4-cylinder hybrid drivetrain, would it?

 

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71 Comments on “Germany Looking To Torpedo EU CO2 Rules...”


  • avatar
    gslippy

    It’s about time someone stands up to the Eurocrats.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      It is about time somebody stands up to the plutocrats and corporatocrats.

      I am grateful for the “Eurocrats”

      They are not quite as cheap a set of whores for mega buck interests/lobbyiss that our 600+ heads of the Fed Government in D.C. are.
      The more or less crime syndicates that mega money corporations (and individuals) are need some sort of check to balance out their economic clout.
      A nation needs some of public, of the people, by the people institution (that would be an elected government-what else could it be?) to keep it from becoming an anarchistic feudalistic society of total have and total have nots.

      • 0 avatar

        Your are “grateful for the ‘Eurocrats’”? Why?
        Obviously, you don’t live within the EU. Otherwise you would have noticed that not a single EU directive is based on hard facts, aims at goals worth to achieve, or solves any real-world problems.
        Cheap they aren’t. There you are right. They come pretty expensive. But who elected them?

  • avatar
    See 7 up

    There needs to a tiered cap based on production #’s – i.e. Ferrari models, selling a total of ~8,000 cars a year should not be held to the same standard as say a Corolla. I know it sounds 1%-ish, but these regulations will ensure every car is the same, regardless of sum miles being travelled by each model.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    This whole CO2 crap is nothing but horse squeeze. It’s time for somebody to stand up and tell the enviro scammers to STFU!

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      How much CO2 in the atmosphere is too much?
      There is a limit somewhere.

      • 0 avatar
        jhefner

        Is there, or will plant life and other natural factors grow to absorb it? Yes, we are cutting down our rain forests, but we are also planting crops, grass and trees in areas that were nothing but desert before man came along.

        I am also well aware of the comparisons to Venus, but besides being closer to the sun, there is a big difference in the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere and Venus. As has already been pointed out, water vapor is a greater greenhouse gas than CO2 is.

        • 0 avatar
          wsn

          Great idea, cars do emit water vapour. A water vapour tax is only a matter of time, if things continue like this.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            Can you imagine if those fuel cells that emit only water vapor ever make it to production? They’ll be worst polluters of them all.

        • 0 avatar
          th009

          Crops only tie up CO2 until you harvest them.

          • 0 avatar
            jhefner

            “Harvest” implies that they are gathered and eaten, either by humans or livestock; they only release CO2 when they are have gas and don’t take beano. The stubble is usually either also fed to livestock or turned under to fertilize the next wave of crops that take their place.

            [cue up the \"Circle of Life\" song...]

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          Again with the water vapor nonsense? Already been discussed — water vapor does not cause climate change in the same way, even though it’s a greenhouse gas:

          http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/bmw-wants-bigger-loopholes-more-breathing-room/#comment-2049995

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            The water vapor denying chicken littles are using obsolete science. The NASA study they base their denials on has been superseded by their 2008 published study by Andrew Dressler, which measures water vapor’s impact as a self-sustaining feedback loop.

            Nice attempt at a straw man though. Nobody said water vapor was responsible for 95% of climate change. You introduced a made up statistic so you could challenge it, when you haven’t changed the conventional wisdom that water vapor has had a much larger impact on warming than CO2 has. Sorry, but 30 to 70% being attributable to water vapor is a larger portion than the 9 to 30% attributed by some to CO2.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            Nice try, CJ, but you didn’t actually read the material provided.

            1) You can see quite clearly that stingray’s comment above mine asserted 95%.

            2) I’m familiar with Andrew *Dessler’s* work (not Dressler) about the feedback loop.

            3) You didn’t read the links:
            ::http://grist.org/article/water-vapor-accounts-for-almost-all-of-the-greenhouse-effect/::

            ::This is not because climate scientists are trying to hide the role of water vapour, rather it is because H2O in the troposphere is a feedback effect, it is not a forcing agent. Simply put, any artificial perturbation in water vapour concentrations is too short lived to change the climate. Too much in the air will quickly rain out, not enough and the abundant ocean surface will provide the difference via evaporation. But once the air is warmed by other means, H2O concentrations will rise and stay high, thus providing the feedback.::

            The point is that once other effects cause water vapor concentrations to rise, they will stay high, which provides feedback. That’s not inconsistent with my comment above.

            4) What you’re missing is that there’s a difference between the greenhouse effect and climate change. The greenhouse effect is that a mixture of gases in the atmosphere creates a certain amount of warming, but it’s at a dynamic equilibrium. Climate change suggests something other than a dynamic equilibrium because the mixture of gases has changed. You’re confusing the terminology here.

            I’d also add that there are certainly great criticisms of Dessler’s work, and you could seek them out if you chose. Even Dessler left open the possibility that there are intervening factors that could cause the feedback not to be positive, and some of the criticisms and followup studies deal with that.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        ??????

        I guess 100% is some kind of hard limit, but other than that…?

      • 0 avatar

        “How much CO2 in the atmosphere is too much?”

        Let’s use one of the computer models that accurately predicted that there would only be an increase of 0.06 degrees in global temperatures from 1997-2012.

        Which of the computer models cited by the last IPCC accurately made such a prediction?

        Seems a bit daft to base public policy on secret computer software with error margin over 1,000%.

    • 0 avatar
      Michael500

      Right, CO2 occurs NATURALLY on earth. How can I put this diplomatically, delicately, with respect, I know, if you think CO2 emissions are a problem you are a full on IDIOT. These same idiots were telling us the ‘earf was cooling in the 70s. No, there is no middle ground, you are not an intellectual, you are an NPR spoon-fed fool.
      The Germans were fools to join/form the EU, I’m glad their own STUPIDITY is catching up with them. At least the Brits were smart enough to stay out of the Euro.

      • 0 avatar

        With all due respect, calling your detractors “IDIOTS” and “NPR spoon-fed fools” makes it that much easier for them to reject and ignore your argument.

        Moving on, it’s a case of humanity putting out TOO MUCH CO2 for the earth to absorb at this very moment, although we’ve put so much of a successful kibosh on the problem that we’re starting to hit the point of diminishing returns.

  • avatar
    challenger2012

    This is nothing more than what has always happened since the beginning of time. One set of rules for the masses, and different rules for the elites. The elites would be aghast at being required to drive cars of the same class (size) as the unwashed masses. Imagine how Paris Hilton would feel when she shows up at a charity event in a Ford Focus? Oh the humanity! And I, for one, am glad that Germany as stood up for the oppressed elites. Why should the government force the wealthy to abide by the rules when we all know that the rules should only apply to those of lower social and economic status. For example: when it comes to filling the ranks of the military, the less advantaged make up a disproportionate percentage vs. the general population. (How many Harvard or Oxford grads are in the armed forces?) Since this is true, the same double standard should apply to expensive fuel inefficient polluting cars. The elites drive what they want, and the masses drive what is prescribed by law. Equal protection under the law, with some more equal than others.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Why should someone who can afford a Ferrari be forced to drive a Ford Focus? So you can feel better about being broke???? LOL!!!

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        It’s called law.

        It’s like … I can financially afford two women and attractive enough to keep them at the same time. But legally I am not allow to do so.

        Through the millions of years of evolution and thousands of years of civilization, it’s always been that way. But suddenly since 200 years ago (varies based on location), that right has been deprived.

        I am not joking. I would prefer to have two women over having a Ferrari.

        P.S. Re the supreme court, I can now marry a man, but not two women!!!

    • 0 avatar
      Type57SC

      You realize that it’s a volunteer army right? No one is shielding Harvard grads from service.

      I do find the differentiation arguments of premium vs value segments to be odd though. It comes from looking at the impact to the companies over what is best for the environment.

    • 0 avatar
      E46M3_333

      Calling CO2 a pollutant is a major stretch. Even if you accept anthropogenic climate change as real, how does the EU driving around in $hit boxes save the planet when China is putting a new coal plant on line every day?

      The enviro-commies in the EU are against consumption, and against the propagation of the human race, period. They rely on the ignorance/inability of the populate to recognize junk science; they worship the planet and view humanity as a scourge upon it. Never-mind that inexpensive, coal fired power is able to lift the 3rd world out of poverty and saves countless human lives–the enviro-commies are hostile to human life; they must be fought at every turn. Go Krauts.

      By the way, I’m an atheist.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        +1 on every word, except I’m not an atheist. :)

      • 0 avatar
        Type57SC

        I don’t think it’s a pollutant in traditional terms, but do believe that the manmade production of CO2 is screwing with natures equilibrium and bad things are likely to come from it.

        I think the EU steps are tiny in comparison to larger emitters, but I reject the notion that until someone addresses the big issue, no need to work on the small one. The EU rules would help in a small direct way, and give creedence to other nations efforts and give a solid base that EU officials could pressure other nations to curb emissions.

        I think it’s wrong to kick the economic ladder away after the EU, US and Japan have climbed up it, burning oil and coal along the way. But it’s right for both China and EU to curb pollution and CO2 emissions. Germany is worried about their industry. That’s something that should be helped along by steady transition, but to refuse transition to lower CO2 standards is short sighted and willfully ignorant of environmental impacts. It’s rather human nature to be NIMBY, but that’s not the good part of human nature, in my opinion.

        I must have missed the report about developing nations holding back on building coal plants and helping lift their populations our of poverty because of the EU actions against the developing nations’ will.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        Re “enviro-commies”, generally I’m not a huge fan of the “I don’t like it so it’s communist” rhetoric, but it fits here. I’m not a climate change denier. But sports cars are so insignificant as to not even be part of the problem. *If* climate change is as significant of an issue as people claim then we need real changes, that impact everyone, like forced one-child policies, massive changes to the agricultural system, and mass-migration from cold areas that require massive energy to heat. Taking BMWs, Mercedes and Audis away from people who have worked hard and want a toy is not going to change anything. Especially since gas taxes are much more effective at addressing an externality than economically illiterate CAFE programs.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        Again, how much CO@ in the atmosphere is too much?

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        Again, how much CO2 in the atmosphere is too much?

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        “against the propagation of the human race, period. ”

        Like 6 billion people are not enough? Propagation is not the problem at this time.

        Let me ask this: how many people are too many people?
        10, 20, 100 billion?

        • 0 avatar
          hreardon

          The problem is that nobody really knows how much is too much, both in terms of CO2 and population. Remember good ole’ Malthus?

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthusian_catastrophe

          My point is not to argue that increased pollution and CO2 is good, nor to say that there isn’t a tipping point…somewhere. My point is to argue that humanity has found a way to work around and avoid catastrophe in the past. I have supreme confidence that we will be able to do so again in the future.

          While reasonable measures today to protect the environment are perfectly rational and I support them, I see many of these measures as a way by political+environmental elites to push up the cost of things like electricity and cars to a point where they are no longer viable.

          TLDR: I think that the reasonable and rational environmental arguments have become co-opted by parties more interested in control and power than in protecting and helping humanity.

        • 0 avatar
          Summicron

          “how many people are too many people?”

          However many there are when you start asking that.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Malthus asked this question in 1798, when the population was about a seventh of what it is today.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            Thanks. So, 1797′s population looks like the target.

            That’ll make visiting national parks a joy again.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        E46M3_333 – - –

        We at TTAC have all had this conversation before. Bottom line: vehicle-produced CO2 is only about 4% of all other sources of CO2, the major ones being coal and pertoleum-fired power plants in China and the US.

        I think the Germans have figured that out, and are getting tired of catering to the socialist wealth-equalization politics from other EU members. If you want to change planetary CO2, go after BIG effects, not small ones. That means getting China and the US immediately out of electricity generation that comes from petroleum and coal. What is the chance of that happening?

        As it is now, even if all cars on the planet were converted magically to EV’s overnight, the CO2 in the atmosphere would still increase, and planetary average temperatures would still rise.

        So, go on. Enjoy the V-8 rumble from your Camaro or Mustang, or V-12 wail from your Ferrari. You aren’t hurting a thing, relatively speaking. Except maybe the misguided sentiments from ill-informed tree huggers. (Actually, I hug trees too, but simply because I just like them; and they surely do a lot better with more CO2 in the atmosphere…..)

        ———————-

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        E46M3_333,

        I have noticed that there really are people who actually desire for people to not exist. I don’t understand that thinking. It runs counter to all instinct.

        I find it difficult to trust what such people say because I believe their desires & values are incompatible with mine.

  • avatar
    th009

    Porsche should not be as badly affected as it’s part of the Volkswagen Group. BMW has Mini that helps a little bit, but Mercedes would be in the worst situation as the Smart’s volumes are far too small to make a meaningful dent in the corporate average.

    • 0 avatar
      Type57SC

      How about buying PSA?

    • 0 avatar
      Brian P

      Mercedes has more than smart to offset its luxury cars. Mercedes makes quite a few A-class and B-class cars that the US doesn’t get, but which sell in fairly decent volume elsewhere (i.e. in Europe). Even among the C-, E-, and S-class, the number sold with 4 cylinder diesel engines in Europe far exceed the small number of large-engine models. A C-class diesel is a reasonably economical family car. We don’t get that model in North America, but they sell lots of them in Europe.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Yes, there are smaller Mercedes, BMW and Audi, but they are still in general higher fuel consumption and CO2 emissions than the Fiesta, Up! and Panda etc — and far smaller volumes. The small MB would likely make it under the 95 g/km limit, but not enough to account for the C/E/S/ML/GL/etc classes that are far above. Hence the opposition to this rule.

  • avatar
    Garak

    Somebody’s finally making a stand against this bovine excrement. Rising gas prices and market forces will make the change, forcing crippling legislation down our throats is not the way to go.

    Before someone comments about airbags, stability control and such: they became standard in all cars long before they were made mandatory – I’m not sure if airbags are even now required to pass the incredibly lax minimum safety requirements. Market forces did the trick.

    • 0 avatar
      Type57SC

      Stability control and airbags were either mandated or motivated through things like IIHS and NHTSA ratings. The growth in penetration prior to the year of impact is just a reflection of the cycle times in the industry. The OEMs were told about the coming changes well in advance.

      Just take a look at the times that countries put the mandates or incentives and the penetration rates. Where countries have low mandates, there are low penetration. Where penetration rapidly increases, some new laws or ratings were announced. Comparing GDP/capita with penetrations only leaves the govt and insurance as the significant difference.

      So I completely disagree that “market forces did the trick”.

      • 0 avatar
        Garak

        Ratings, such as EuroNCAP, are not used in any way (at least where I live) as a basis for legislation or insurance policies – only for marketing. People wanted to buy safer cars, and were willing to pay extra for it. Poor models faded away. Market forces in action.

        Stability control was made mandatory in 2012, but even before that, most people were willing to pay extra for ESP, and the non-stabilized models faded away. Market forces once again.

        One manufacturer tried to sell base model cars with no airbags, ABS and such in the 2000s, but the sales plummeted into single digits in a couple of years.

        The same thing is happening right now with air conditioning: people want AC, and models without it do not sell. No governmental body has mandated or motivated paying extra cash for air conditioning.

        • 0 avatar
          Type57SC

          I haven’t looked at AC penetration rates, but I would expect them to be similar for similar climate and similar GDP/capita countries. That’s not true in airbags. crash ratings are not mandates, as I said too, but are not market forces. They are explicit perversions of market forces by choosing to limit the stars one model gets versus another in part due to the safety equipment on the vehicle rather than strictly how it does in crash test (although the choice of crash test is another manipulation of the market).

        • 0 avatar

          Market forces that were manipulated by govt incentives and mandates. Automakers had to find a way to sell ABS, airbags, etc., and they did – by marketing on the safety aspect. And people accepted them on those grounds.

  • avatar
    jbreuckm

    I’m about as much of a climate hawk as anyone, but these rules miss the mark.

    How about a tax? People who can afford to drive higher emitting vehicles can pay an extra tax that incentivizes the rest of the market to drive low-emitting vehicles. That’s one way. There are others that are similarly market based.

    The point is, there is much MUCH more good to be done by regulating the 80-90% of the market that buys a car for transportation first and as such won’t mind vehicles that comply with the emissions target. That much smaller segment of the market that values luxury and performance as much or more than the basic transportation value can be held to a different standard while still moving the overall needle on emissions.

    Across the board impositions like this suck. Set up the incentives right and you’ll get the desired result.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    Cracking down on how many children people have, or cows, would be much better for global warming than attacking cars. And at the point that you are attacking cars gas taxes are much more effective than corporate average fuel economy rules.

    • 0 avatar
      Type57SC

      Do you think there will be a meaningfully smaller number of cars sold in europe because of this rule? One hope of this is that this drives technological focus on the issue and the issue gets improved through innovation. You can argue for better approaches to it, but it certainly seemed to work in the oil crisis and seems to be working now in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        “Do you think there will be a meaningfully smaller number of cars sold in europe because of this rule?”

        I think that is likely, and could be seen as environmental. It depends whether buyers say “these new cars suck, I’m keeping my old car” or “these new cars have great mileage and technology, I’m buying one”, I think it could go either way, or be a push.

        “One hope of this is that this drives technological focus on the issue and the issue gets improved through innovation.”

        The Automotive technology of the last 30 years, mass-market fuel injection, was driven by US emissions laws for emissions other than CO2, not CAFE, but this is probably true. Gas taxes should encourage this also, but CAFE may create more incentives for innovation since, unlike with a gas tax, driving less, or paying more for gas taxes, are not an option.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      Totally agree.

      If CO2 is a pollutant, which I don’t believe, all you need to look at is China:

      1) Human population control, this one is directly proportional to CO2 reduction.

      2) Covert people to eat pork instead of beef.

  • avatar
    99GT4.6

    Envirocrazys are so quick to jump on anything. Last summer in Ontario it was really hot we had a drought. They all screamed that it was global warming. This year it has been unseasonably cold and very rainy. Are they all out screaming about that??? Those CO2 rules are absurd too. IMO emissions/fuel economy legislation has gone too far when it starts to make cars less reliable. And when China is currently building a new coal plant every week (complete with no emissions equipment) I highly doubt getting rid of performance cars will change anything at all.

  • avatar

    Deep down, I have a feeling TTAC is scared the CO2 rules will make German sports cars extinct (and by “extinct” I mean “far less powerful and enjoyable to drive). Hyperbolic and somewhat superficial, yes, but there’s a kernel of truth in here.

    Seeing what CARB and the insurance industry did to high-horsepower American cars from the early 1970s all the way to the 1990s would give any motorhead pause over what’s happening in the EU, even if the folks there are in a far better position to adapt and overcome than we were back then.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    Ya gotta love the way the ‘global warming’ issue brings to the fore the dumbass in people.

  • avatar
    CelticPete

    Personally I think global warming is real.

    But..

    #1. Don’t think anything could be done to it unless we underwent MASSIVE change. If we started breaking ground on a new Nuclear power facility every single month for like 5 years – then we would be able to cut down on fossil fuel use. But realistically that’s not going to happen. We can’t even build that many at once.

    #2. Scientists seem unable to tell us how bad the change will be on our current path. Its really important to know how much hotter its going to get before we decide against global warming. Throw in the fact that in significant parts of the world – they are probably pretty pro-global warming in a way. For example I doubt Moscow citizens are really concerned about having warmer winters.

    With those two problems its just alot of posturing and feel good stuff. The Prius is a great example. People drive it because it makes them feel good – like they are saving the world. But they would be better off moving into the city and riding bikes etc.

  • avatar

    Is it the beginning of the Malaise Era in Europe? I can imagine state of Michigan behaved the same way as Germany in 70s but it was like trying to stop the clock. According to the law of entropy you cannot reverse time. Obama also is coming with CO2 legislation so for Germans there is nowhere to hide.

    On the other hand Tesla makes luxury cars which emit zero CO2.

    My advice to Europeans – you better start worrying about extinction both cultural and physical.

    • 0 avatar
      CelticPete

      Be careful what you wish for. The Germans would have no trouble cranking out massive amount of electric cars. Neither would the Japanese.

      Germany just thinks its a bad idea..

    • 0 avatar

      Simply no, don’t worry.
      The “Malaise Era in Europe” is with PSA, FIAT – those who “specialize in small, highly efficient engines” (which they obviously can’t sell because of lack of demand, worldwide), as opposed to the car companies in Europe that specialize in bigger, “highly efficient engines” that sell.
      Why should it be up to a political institution like the EU Commission (with a proven history to react erratically and insane) to ruin a successful business model because they favor an unsuccessful one, on whatever reasons)?


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