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The delay was forced after a last-minute intervention by the German government to support its premium carmakers BMW and Daimler. It means that only 95% of new cars will meet the 95g/km target in 2020, effectively weakening the target by around 3g/km. All new European cars will have to meet the target one year later. In addition, the revised agreement offers more flexibility to carmakers in terms of when they can use additional allowances for selling electric cars, known as ‘supercredits’ .
Greg Archer, clean vehicles manager at Transport & Environment, said: “This one year delay to the car emissions law was an unnecessary weakening to please luxury German carmakers. Nevertheless, the final agreement is still a good deal for the environment, EU economy and drivers – reducing fuel use and CO2 emissions by 27% over 6 years.”
The regulation is estimated to save 422 million tonnes of CO2 by making new cars more efficient . The fuel bills of a typical driver are estimated to decline by over €500 per year – money that is expected to boost the EU economy, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. However, the improved car fuel efficiency in 2020 will be much less than officially stated unless a new testing system is introduced as part of the regulation. The current test is unrepresentative, with weak rules that carmakers manipulate leading to fuel economy figures on average 23% lower in tests than typically achieved on the roads .
“Fuel economy standards for vehicles are Europe’s single most effective policy to drive down CO2 emissions but are being undermined by an obsolete test. The regulation confirmed today calls for a 2025 target and new test to be quickly introduced. The Commission must ensure the fierce opposition from carmakers does not delay their introduction,” Archer concluded.