Carbon emissions from new passenger vehicles are to be cut by 55% in 2030 and 100% in 2035.
These targets are the core of the revised CO2 vehicle fleet regulation adopted today by the European Commission as part of the so-called ‘Fit for 55’ package of measure to revise the EU climate policy.
“A zero-emission tailpipe target in 2035 is a de facto ban on the internal combustion engine. This is not the most effective or efficient way to climate neutral transport in the EU, it may not even get us there,” said Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of the automotive suppliers’ association CLEPA.
“The internal combustion engine is climate neutral when running on sustainable renewable fuels. The battery electric vehicle is climate neutral when charged with renewable electricity. The priority should be renewable fuels and electricity, not a ban on a technology.”
“The climate ambitions are clear and shared. Society needs both pace and breathing space to manage this monumental transformation and policy choices hold the key: Europe stands to give up on a competitive technology that will power mobility outside of cities for a long time to come, and that can be clean and climate neutral with renewable fuels and green hydrogen. The ‘Fit for 55’ package lacks recognition of the contribution renewable fuels can and will have to make in road transport. A technology-open approach would reduce emissions quicker and support European jobs and competitiveness.”
Direct electrification will contribute significantly to reducing emissions. However, for some transport needs it is not or not yet the right solution. Plug-in hybrids bridge the gap between zero-emission and long-distance or heavy goods transport.
“This proposal leaves electrification as the only option, regardless of whether it fits the need or not, is affordable or not, or if there is green energy and the infrastructure to charge it or not. This is the opposite of technology neutrality, a principle which the European Commission in theory still defends. The debate in the Commission today lasted until the last minute. Unfortunately, only one side of the argument is reflected in the proposals.”