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CO2 emission standards for cars and utility vehicles: everything you need to know

CO2 emission standards for cars and utility vehicles

Greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union have been constantly rising in the transport sector over the last thirty years. The EU is recommending stricter CO2 emission standards to further reduce emissions from cars and utility vehicles in the years to come. A brief update on the situation.

What are the anticipated new rules for manufacturers of cars and utility vehicles?

A new provisional agreement, agreed between the member states of the European Union in late 2019, requires a significant reduction in CO2 emissions from cars and utility vehicles by 2030.

Admissible CO2 emissions for cars

The reduction will be achieved in two stages:

  • In 2020: the new vehicle fleets sold by each manufacturer must emit a maximum average of 95 g de CO2 per kilometre

 

They should then be reduced by:

  • 15%, between 2025 and 2029: the vehicles sold will need to emit no more than 80 g of CO2 per kilometre on average.
  • 37.5% in 2030: the vehicles sold must emit no more than 60 g of CO2 per kilometre on average.

Admissible CO2 emissions for utility vehicles

The objective is virtually the same for new utility vehicles, as the level of CO2 emissions must fall by 15% in 2025 and then by 31% in 2030. It should be noted that the admissible CO2 emission threshold for new utility vehicles is 147 grams per kilometre until 2021.

 

For the time being, these objectives are only based on the European Union vehicle fleet. After 2030, we can doubtless expect new, stricter standards and thresholds to further reduce CO2 emissions.

Who are these standards aimed at and how are they met?

These new standards announced by the European Union are aimed at vehicle manufacturers, who must now sell vehicles which emit less CO2. To reach the target of 95 g of CO2 per km on average per vehicle, the manufacturers will expand their range of electric vehicles. It cannot be ruled out that they will also promote Diesel vehicles, which emit less CO2 than petrol vehicles.

 

The weight of the vehicles is also a factor when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This is why manufacturers are developing ever-lighter vehicles.

What are the penalties for failing to comply with the rules?

Any vehicle manufacturer failing to comply with the standards issued by the European Union would face a heavy fine. This will be 95 euros per gram of CO2 over the target, multiplied by the number of vehicles sold! A fine which could hit the manufacturers hard.

A few figures

It should be noted that transport accounts for a quarter of worldwide CO2 emissions and that 75% of CO2 emissions in the transport sector are caused by road transport, including trucks, cars and utility vehicles.