The European Parliament has approved a draft law that will force carbon dioxide (CO2) levels for new cars to be cut by 40 per cent by 2030, and 20 per cent by 2025.

It has also voted that electric cars and ZLEVs (Zero Level Emission Vehicles – cars that emit under 50g/km of CO2) should make up 35 per cent of new car and van sales by 2030, and 20 per cent by 2025.

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CO2 emissions are calculated based on individual car makers’ fleet averages, meaning emissions for each company are comprised of the average amount of CO2 produced by every vehicle they sell.

Commenting on the new CO2 limits, EU Parliament spokeswoman Miriam Dalli said: “This legislation goes beyond reducing harmful emissions and protecting the environment. It looks at setting the right incentives for manufacturers.”

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) was critical of the new targets, however, with the organisation’s secretary general, Erik Jonnaert, saying he is “concerned about the extremely aggressive CO2 reduction targets and the imposition of sales quotas for battery electric vehicles that MEPs have backed”.

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Jonnaert also warned “consumers cannot be forced to buy electric cars, without the necessary infrastructure or incentives in place”, adding he hopes national governments bring some “realism” to the table when “adopting their common position on the future CO2 targets next week.” 

Previous intermediate legislation targeted a 15 per cent reduction of CO2 by 2025, though this was increased in September this year to a 30 per cent reduction target by 2021, with industry and environmentalists calling for more relaxed and stricter targets, respectively.

Click here for our list of the best low emissions cars

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