60 g/km by 2025 is possible with existing technology

A report commissioned by T&E and Greenpeace suggests the EU can more than halve its existing carbon dioxide emissions from new cars with existing technology. The report, by the British consultancy Ricardo-AEA, says the right mixture of electric, hybrid and conventionally-fuelled cars will enable Europe to reach a target of 60 grams per kilometre from the average new car in 2025.

In 2011, the average emissions from new cars sold in the EU was 136 g/km. A 95g target has been set for 2020, although MEPs and ministers are still working out how this will be achieved. The USA aims to halve emissions from new cars by 2025 and environmental campaigners are keen to ensure the EU matches America’s level of ambition.   

The T&E/Greenpeace study shows that a target of 60g could be achieved if up to 24% of new vehicles were electric, another 24% hybrids and the remaining 52% conventional (petrol and diesel) cars. A target of 70g would require only a modest share of electric cars (7%), which is at the very low-end of conservative market projections for electric vehicles by 2025. The remainder would come from hybrids (22%) and conventional petrol/diesel cars (71%). A supporting briefing prepared by T&E shows that the costs of technology are likely to be paid back within a few years.

T&E cars officer Greg Archer said: ‘This report helps bring some clarity about what can be achieved with existing technology and with a modest boost from sales of electric cars. Setting a 2025 target now will give the industry the regulatory certainty it needs to invest in electric alternatives now.”

A recent report by KPMG indicates that just 8% of auto executives said their companies would invest in making electric vehicles over the next five years. The majority of respondents said they expect to invest within six to 10 years from now. This contrasts with a similar KPMG survey last year, when most respondents said it would take one to six years.

Greg Archer added, “Globally, car manufacturers are making record profits, yet are delaying investment in ultralow carbon alternatives. By setting a 60g, 2025 target now, we can ensure the necessary investment continues at the right pace.”