After lobbying by Germany, the governments of the European Union have for the third time delayed implementation of carbon dioxide emissions targets for Europe’s new cars. The proposed limits would have been reduced CO2 emissions from new cars to 95 grams per kilometer.
At a meeting of EU states, Germany’s request to delay a vote on the new limits was supported by Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government in Germany would like to increase the 2020 targeted limits from the previously agreed upon 95g/km the equivalent of 59 U.S. mpg. Right now regulations permit as much as 130g/km.
Germany’s auto industry would like a longer phase in period, allowing automakers until 2024 for full implementation of the standard. Greg Archer, of Transport & Environment, an environmental advocacy group, said in a statement that Germany’s maneuvering was intended to give Mercedes-Benz and BMW a competitive advantage. The issue will be deferred to an EU vote later this month.
EU sources last month said that French automakers, Renault and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, now support the gradual phase in, having reversed their previous position under pressure from their German partners. While the French companies would have a competitive advantage under the new rules because they sell smaller cars than the German luxury marques, they are also tied to the German car makes. Renault has an industrial alliance with Daimler, Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, and BMW is developing engines with PSA.