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Consumers say no to loopholes on CO2 targets for passenger cars

Press Release

Brussels, 23 April 2013

Consumers will lose out if the test cycle for passenger car emissions is not revised to take account of real world conditions, and if supercredits are used to water-down current targets, the FIA has said in a letter to European Parliament ENVI MEPs ahead of a key committee vote tomorrow. The FIA Region I office is a consumer body representing 71 Automobile Clubs and their 35 million members in Europe.


Jacob Bangsgaard, FIA Region I Director General, said “CO2 targets for passenger cars are important from both an environmental and a cost perspective. We hope that the Environment committee will build on the work of the Transport committee to make sure consumers get maximum benefit from the legislation proposed.”


1)      The early implementation of the revised test cycle is crucial to achieve set goals both from an environmental and consumer perspective


The current test procedure takes place in laboratory conditions, and does not account for everyday usage factors such as the ‘cold starting’ of an engine, mileage covered on motorways, use of air conditioning, etc. Indeed, the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) has found that the gap between the measurement of emissions during type approval and the level of real emissions have increased from about 8% in 2001 to 21% today.

The FIA letter says that more should be done to guarantee that official test results more accurately reflect what drivers will have to expect in real life, and encourages the Parliament to seek an early implementation of the World Light Duty Test procedure, as from 2016 (the procedure is currently being developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe to be ready for 2014). 


2)     Supercredits will lower the benefits of the legislation for consumers

On supercredits, the FIA says that no matter how laudable incentives to promote the penetration of low carbon vehicles in the market may be: the system as proposed would lead to a weakening of the target for mass market vehicles: selling some electric vehicles will lead to an advantage that would then allow manufacturers to achieve less savings in the conventional powertrain segment.” Instead, the FIA says such incentives should be promoted at national level as they would be less likely to have an impact on set EU targets for 2020.


The FIA letter furthermore stresses that systems such as banking, whereby you ‘save’ and use the credits you have for targets beyond 2020, should be avoided: “…as they would postpone the real achievement of the target set today, 95 grams being widely accepted as achievable among stakeholders.”


Note to Editors


The European Commission put forward proposals to implement targets that aim to considerably reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new cars and light commercial vehicles (vans) by 2020 on 11 July 2012.

The proposals will cut average emissions from new cars to 95 grams of CO2 per km (g CO2/km) in 2020 from 135.7g in 2011 and a mandatory target of 130g in 2015. Emissions from vans will be reduced to 147g CO2/km in 2020 from 181.4g in 2010 (the latest year for which figures are available) and a mandatory target of 175g in 2017.

The proposals represent a further contribution towards meeting the EU's goal of cutting overall greenhouse gas emissions to 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 and moving towards decarbonising the transport sector, in line with the EU's climate change policy and the Transport White Paper. Cars and vans together account for around 15% of EU CO2 emissions, including emissions from fuel supply.


According to the European Commission, compared with the 2015/2017 targets, it is estimated that consumers will save €27bn per year in fuel costs in 2025, rising to €36bn in 2030. The 2020 targets could increase EU GDP by €12bn annually and spending on employment by some €9bn a year.


The ICCT compared the CO2 emissions measured by the current procedure - the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) - at type approval with real world values. Undertaking an analysis of more than 28,000 user entries of the German fuel consumption database, the ICCT found that the gap between type-approval and “real-world” fuel consumption / CO2 values has increased from about 8% in 2001 to 21% today, with a particularly strong increase since 2007. The study is available here.

For more information, please contact Niall Carty, Communications Manager, FIA Region I: or 02 282 0812

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