13/7/2012 - Policymakers and manufacturers set for clash
Another big row looks to be brewing between Europe's policymakers and car manufacturers, after tough new emission plans were announced this week which would force carmakers to cut carbon dioxide emissions by a third by 2020. The current CO2 emissions target for new cars is 130g/km and that is set to be slashed to 95 g/km by the end of the decade.
The EU said the proposals - which are likely to be fiercely resisted by the automotive industry - would save car users hundreds of pounds each year in lower fuel costs. They've calculated that on average every new car would save its owner around £270 in fuel costs in the first year, and an estimated combined total of up to £3,000 over the car's lifetime (13 years), compared with the current target.
However manufacturers have warned that the new targets - which are set to be the toughest in the world - would impose extra costs and make them less competitive globally. In a statement, The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association said that the industry shared concerns about global warming and was trying to find sustainable solutions, but described the EC's targets for 2020 as "extremely challenging."
Given that there was strong opposition by carmakers (especially the German brands) in 2007 and 2008 to a proposed EU target of 120g by 2015, which was subsequently diluted to 130g it would not be a surprise if these targets end up being watered-down too. When you add into the mix that the manufacturers are also battling between themselves as to the best way to meet these regulations, this story has a while to run!
It's an interesting debate - on one hand we're all drivers and anything that helps reduce our fuel costs has to be welcomed. But on the other side of the coin, I do have some sympathy with the European manufacturers who will be faced with the unenviable task of meeting tight targets whilst trying to stay competitive. But what do you think? Are these restrictions a step too far or are the manufacturers just bleating without cause?
Have a great weekend.
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