On the road to clean mobility

News Article

After eight extensive rounds of negotiations, the trilogues concluded yesterday with an agreement on CO2 emission standards for cars and vans. Eurelectric welcomes this decision and applauds legislators for having paved the way for a more climate friendly transport sector.

“With this deal Europe will have over 40 million electric cars on the streets by 2030. This legislation will trigger a significant shift towards climate-friendly transport sector to the benefit of citizens and socities across Europe”, commented Kristian Ruby, Secretary General of Eurelectric.

The deal fixes emissions reduction targets of 37.5% for cars and of 31% for vans, by 2030. Even if the ambitious 40% reduction mandate of the European Parliament was watered down, this decision is a certain improvement of the levels initially proposed by the Commission. However, the intermediate goals, which must be achieved by 2025, remain at 15 % for both cars and vans.

Another highly debated topic was the incentive system for zero and low emissions vehicles (ZLEV).  The negotiators were able to agree on a 35% ZLEV sales benchmark in 2030. Co-legislators ironed out several provisions in the Annexes that were previously the stumbling stones on the way to reaching an agreement. In particular, the plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) multiplier of 0.7 was envisioned as a measure to promote these means of transport. This multiplier somewhat reduces the stringency of the legislation and could undermine the real values of the emission reduction targets. It will favour vehicles close to the 50g CO2/km threshold, as defined by the Regulation, and would result in automakers claiming greater emission credits via plug-in hybrids.

The second contentious provision regarded the double counting method in Member States where ZLEV sales share falls below 60% of the EU average in 2021. Negotiators agreed to place a cap on this provision once the EV share reaches 5% in order to prevent manufacturers from diluting the Regulation and adjust the market shares heading towards 2021. At the same time, the penalty for not achieving their benchmarks, i.e. the ‘malus’, has been dropped from the agreement.

In addition, automakers will be required to ensure no manipulation of test measurements happens from 2030 onwards. This decision is instrumental for closing the increasingly growing emission gap between test results and on-road performance. Negotiators also agreed to start monitoring and reporting on car emissions in lab tests and real world conditions from 2021 to 2026, with a proposal coming from the Commission in 2027 on how to deal with the discrepancy between the two. That will be put into force by 2030.

This comprehensive package deal sets a very timely legal framework that ensures market certainty for the next generation of vehicles and all relevant industry sectors along the value chain.

Eurelectric supports a similarly ambitious agreement for the Heavy Duty Vehicles Regulation, with the aim to conclude it by end-February, under the Romanian Presidency of the Council.