On Tuesday, Parliament set new targets for reducing CO2 emissions for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, which is part of the “Target 55” package of measures.
The European Parliament voted by 340 in favour, 279 against with 21 abstentions to approve a deal with the Council that will revise CO2 standards for new passenger cars and vans. In this way, the car industry aligns itself with the EU’s higher climate targets.
The new legislation outlines how to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars and light commercial vehicles to zero by 2035. The emissions targets for passenger cars and vans are 55% and 50% respectively in 2030 compared to 2021 levels, and the average reduction target for new fleets across the EU.
Other key measures foreseen by the regulation:
- The Commission will present by 2025 a methodology to assess and report data on CO2 emissions throughout the full life-cycle of cars and vans sold on the EU market, accompanied by legislative proposals where appropriate;
- By December 2026, the Commission will monitor the gap between the emission limit values and the real-world fuel and energy consumption data, report on a methodology for adjusting the manufacturers’ specific CO2 emissions, and propose appropriate follow-up measures;
- Manufacturers responsible for small production volumes in a calendar year (1 000 to 10 000 new cars or 1 000 to 22 000 new vans) may be granted a derogation until the end of 2035 (those registering fewer than 1 000 new vehicles per year continue to be exempt);
- The current zero- and low- emission vehicles (ZLEV) incentive mechanism, which rewards manufacturers that sell more such vehicles (with emissions from zero to 50g CO2/km, such as electric vehicles and well-performing plug-in hybrids) with lower CO2 emission reduction targets, will be adapted to meet expected sales trends. From 2025 to 2029, the ZLEV benchmark is set at 25% for the sales of new cars, and 17% for new vans, and as of 2030 the incentive will be removed;
- Every two years, starting from the end of 2025, the Commission will publish a report to evaluate the progress towards zero-emission road mobility.
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Rapporteur Jan Huitema (Renew, NL) said: “This regulation encourages the production of zero- and low-emission vehicles. It contains an ambitious revision of the targets for 2030 and a zero-emission target for 2035, which is crucial to reach climate neutrality by 2050. These targets create clarity for the car industry and stimulate innovation and investments for car manufacturers. Purchasing and driving zero-emission cars will become cheaper for consumers and a second-hand market will emerge more quickly. It makes sustainable driving accessible to everyone.”
Following the final vote in plenary, the text will now have to be formally endorsed by Council, too, before being published in the EU Official Journal shortly after.
On 14 July 2021, as part of the ‘Fit for 55’ package, the Commission presented a legislative proposal for a revision of the CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. The proposal aims to contribute to the EU 2030 and 2050 climate objectives, deliver benefits to citizens and stimulate innovation in zero-emission technologies.
Source: European Parliament
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