CO2 targets: automobile industry reacts to European Commission’s second mobility package

Brussels, 8 November 2017 – The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) takes note of the publication of the European Commission’s second mobility package, including a proposal for post-2021 CO2 targets for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. ACEA will now work with its members to assess the full details of the proposals before continuing to engage with the EU institutions on this dossier.

Regarding the CO2 proposal, ACEA welcomes the fact that the date for the new targets has been set for 2030. “This is consistent with the timings already agreed by the EU heads of states with the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework,” stated ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. However, setting an additional target already in 2025 – just a few years after the 2021 targets – does not leave enough time to make the necessary technical and design changes to vehicles, in particular to light commercial vehicles given their longer development and production cycles.

The 30% reduction level proposed by the Commission is also overly challenging, going beyond the ambition level set out in the Climate and Energy Framework and in its own 2016 impact assessment, which specifies what is needed to deliver on COP21. In line with this, the European auto industry considers a 20% reduction by 2030 for cars to be achievable at a high, but acceptable, cost.

“Clearly, CO2 targets can provide an impetus for innovation in the auto industry, but the current proposal is very aggressive when we consider the low and fragmented market penetration of alternatively-powered vehicles across Europe to date,” Jonnaert stated. Indeed, success in meeting a 2030 target will be clearly linked to the market uptake of alternatively-powered vehicles.

Erik Jonnaert: “Europe needs much more investment in recharging and refuelling infrastructure, before we can expect consumers throughout the entire EU to embrace such vehicles.” ACEA therefore welcomes the Commission’s action plan for boosting investment in a network of charging and refuelling stations across the European Union.  Infrastructure, however, is only one side of the coin. Affordability clearly also is a major barrier for many Europeans, underlining the need for harmonised and coherent consumer incentives.

“A radical change in the market for alternatively-powered vehicles will of course not happen overnight. This is why focusing on a 2030 target is the best way forward. Instead of setting an interim target in 2025, it should rather be seen as a milestone year to review the progress made in reducing CO2 emissions towards 2030.”

“This piece of legislation will have a significant impact on the future of Europe’s automotive industry,” Jonnaert said. “Today marks the first step in a long process. ACEA looks forward to working together with the European Commission, Parliament and Council over the months ahead to ensure that future CO2 targets can be both ambitious and feasible – also taking into account the social implications for the 12.6 million Europeans employed by our sector.”

About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.9 million Europeans work in the automotive sector
  • 8.3% of all manufacturing jobs in the EU
  • €392.2 billion in tax revenue for European governments
  • €101.9 billion trade surplus for the European Union
  • Over 7% of EU GDP generated by the auto industry
  • €59.1 billion in R&D spending annually, 31% of EU total
Content type Press release
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