Europe Counts the Cost of CO2 Car Regs

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
europe counts the cost of co2 car regs

The European Union (EU) is bound and determined to cut automotive CO2 emissions; Brussels' bureaucrats are looking to lower the required C02 levels from today’s corporate average of 160 g/km to 130 g/km by 2012. Curious about the cost of the new regs on the auto industry and, hence, consumers, Germany's federal environment ministry commissioned the Transport Research Institute to do the math. The Berlin-based boffins reckon EU car manufacturers will have to invest at least €11.7bn a year in new technologies to meet the new obligations. The "per unit" cost to the consumer: €500 to €1,500. But don't get to thinking that the Institute is lobbying against the stricter regs (perish the thought). Auto Industry reports that the report counters carbon positivists by pointing out that the fuel saving from C02-compliant cars should mitigate the extra cost "over the medium term." The Institute also suggests that funds from fines against corporate CO2 scofflaws should go to national carbon mitigation programmes. But that would be wrong! So they recommend that the regulation should be so constructed as to encourage manufacturers to invest in meeting CO2 norms rather than paying fines, just as BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and VW do on this side of the pond.

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4 of 13 comments
  • DrBrian DrBrian on Oct 31, 2007

    Katie do you really want everyone to have a small hybrid?would you really want to spend your life driving around in a sub 1 litre hybrid egg box? Katie do you weave yogurt?

  • Cammy Corrigan Cammy Corrigan on Oct 31, 2007

    Hal, you're missing the point. The point is that even with these "clean" diesel powertrains, on large sedans (Which is where they make their money, as you say) the effect will be negligible. Meaning that, nothing has been solved! Their lack of smaller cars (and fuel efficiency) is what is going to cause them trouble. That's why Porsche have bought into VW (a much larger car maker) which means, they can offset their sports cars against the Polos and Foxes. BMW and MB don't have such a line up. DrBrian, I DO drive a 1 litre "egg box" and find it is perfect for European roads. The roads in Europe are smaller and twisting. Have you ever driven in London or Amsterdam? Trust me, navigating a large sedan down those roads is about as easy as [s]trying to get that "In Defense of American Automakers" posters to see eye to eye [/s] driving a tank down an alleyway.

  • Hal Hal on Oct 31, 2007

    ?? MB and BMW ARE developing more fuel efficent small cars. I pointed out that they are investing heavily in a range "clean" tech. despite what you claimed. Do I need to link to the Mini, 1series, 3series, A B & C class? I would love to get the figures and see the sales mix for MB and BMW in Europe but from what I have seen small cars are already a high proportion of sales. You are also assuming that there is only one way to meet proposed CO2 regs and that those regulations will come into force when and as proposed. Lastly it will be a cold day in hell before any German government agrees to regulations that BMW and MB can't accept.

  • DrBrian DrBrian on Oct 31, 2007

    Not really a fair comparison there Katie.Trying to drive a car around london/Amsterdam is like trying to drive inside a volcano or on the moon. London and Amsterdam have been designed to be anti car and its hard to drive anything around there. On the other hand I manage quite well threading a large-ish toyota around the green green valleys of Wales.