More electric cars on EU roads by 2030

Voiture électrique partagée à Bruxelles

Shared Electric cars in Brussels. © European Union , 2014 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Jennifer Jacquemart.

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.

CO2 emissions from new cars should be cut by 45% by 2030 and market uptake of zero – and low- emission vehicles should accelerate, said committee MEPs on Monday.

Environment Committee MEPs proposed setting a higher target for reducing EU fleet-wide emissions for new cars by 2030: 45% (compared to the EU Commission’s 30%) with an intermediate target of 20% by 2025. The draft legislation also sets similar targets for new vans.

Manufacturers whose average CO2 emissions exceed these targets will pay a premium to the EU budget, to be used, inter alia, for up-skilling workers affected by changes in the automotive sector, MEPs agreed.

Carmakers will also have to ensure that zero- and low- emission vehicles – ZLEVs – (which emit less than 50g co2/km) have a 40% market share of sales of new cars and vans by 2030, and 20% by 2025.

Real-driving emissions

Within two years, the EU Commission should table plans for a real-world CO2 emissions test using a portable device, like that recently introduced for NOx. CO2 emissions must meanwhile be measured on the basis of data from the cars’ fuel consumption meters. The real-driving emissions test must be up and running from 2023, say MEPs.

Social impact of decarbonisation

MEPs acknowledge that a socially-acceptable and just transition towards zero-emission mobility requires changes throughout the automotive value chain, with possible negative social impacts. The EU should therefore promote skill formation and reallocation of workers in the sector, particularly in regions and communities most affected by the transition. MEPs also advocate support for European battery manufacturing.

Labelling

By end 2019, the EU Commission will have to propose legislation to provide consumers with accurate and comparable information on the fuel consumption, CO2 and pollutant emissions of new cars.

Lifecycle emissions

From 2025, carmakers will have to report the lifecycle CO2 emissions of new cars put on the market, using a common methodology.

Quote

Miriam Dalli (S&D, MT), rapporteur, said: “The decisive vote in the Environment Committee represents a commitment to start tackling the fight against climate change seriously.

Some cities across the European Union are already banning polluting cars but policymakers need to incentivise putting cleaner vehicles on the road. Since charging infrastructure is a pre-condition for the successful deployment of ZLEVs, and investment needs to be increased from today’s low levels, different support instruments at both Union and Member State level need to effectively work together, mobilising and incentivising significant public and private investment.

This is an opportunity to inject new life into the EU’s manufacturing sector, investing in innovation and boosting economic growth. With training, re-skilling and up-skilling of workers, the EU can provide its citizens with sustainable quality jobs. ”

Next steps

The full House will vote on the report during its 1-4 October plenary session in Strasbourg.

Background

Transport is the only major sector in the EU where greenhouse gas emissions are still rising, say MEPs. In order to meet the commitments made at COP21 in 2015, the decarbonisation of the entire transport sector needs to be accelerated, on the path towards zero emissions by mid-century.

At the same time, the global automotive sector is changing rapidly, in particular in electrified powertrains. If European carmakers engage late in the necessary energy transition, they risk losing their leading role, say MEPs.

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