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FIA-BEUC Event: CO2 Targets for Cars - Good News for Consumers?

Publication date: 24 April 2013

At a European Parliament hearing yesterday, organised by the FIA and BEUC, and hosted by Karl-Heinz Florenz MEP, key stakeholders were brought together to discuss the Commission’s new proposals to limit CO2 emissions to an average of 95 grams per kilometre (g/km) for cars by 2020, in particular regarding the setting of long-term emissions targets, the proposed revision of the emissions test cycles and super-credits for low carbon vehicles.


Jacob Bangsgaard, Director General of FIA Region I, made clear that for the FIA, the main concern was the consumer’s right to cars that were cleaner and more fuel efficient. He said, in his view, the Commission’s proposed targets would help achieve both. Mr. Bangsgaard acknowledged that the new technology required for new cars proposed would cost in the region of €250-€1600, but over the lifetime of the car, the consumer would save over €3000, he said.


Mr. Bangsgaard noted that consumers are often misled with regard to fuel consumption which can be of real concern as the running cost of a car is a major part of the household budget. The FIA and its Motoring Clubs are actively involved in projects like the ecodriving initiative ECOWILL, which encourage people to drive in a more fuel efficient and safer way, he said.


BEUC Vice-President, Jan Bertoft, speaking on behalf of the European Consumer Organisation, said that fuel prices are the number one financial worry across Europe, with 86% of consumers naming it as their first concern in a recent UK survey. Mr. Bertoft said the proposal would help to allay this worry among consumers, while at the same time being good for the environment.  He stressed his belief that ‘supercredits’ and ‘banking’ must not be allowed  to dilute the new proposed test cycles.


Karl-Heinz Florenz, MEP, said that he knew that the proposed legislation on CO2 test cycle would not solve all environmental problems, but affirmed his belief that Europe needs, “…a new test cycle that is based on reality.”  Mr Florenz called the targets ambitious, but necessary.

Other stakeholders included speakers from the European Commission, the International Council on Clean Transportation, ACEA (representing car manufacturers), CLEPA (representing suppliers), NGO Transport & Environment, Dutch Automobile Club ANWB, and the Federation of German Consumers Organisations (vzbv).


The ENVI vote on the proposal takes place today.

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