Volvo and Renault attain European CO2 targets earlier than expected

Article by Anita Panait, on September 15, 2013

Volvo and Renault have already managed to achieve their European carbon dioxide targets three years earlier than planned, according to data from the European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E).  Volvo had targeted to achieve fleet carbon dioxide emissions of 143.4g/km by 2015, but managed to top the figure in 2012 at 142.2g/km.

It joined PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Toyota as carmakers that were able to reach their individual targets. PSA and Toyota reached theirs in 2011. According to T&E, it expects Fiat and BMW to achieve their emissions targets this year.

Carmakers that need to improve their carbon dioxide emissions by more than 5% over the next four years to reach their own target are Nissan, Suzuki, Mazda and Honda.  "All available evidence points toward the major carmakers in Europe heading for very significant over-compliance with the 2009 CO2 regulation," according to T&E.

The environmental lobby group expects carmakers to have no trouble cutting overall fleet emissions to 130g/km by 2015 after they managed to reach 132.4g/km in 2012.

T&E also expects that carmakers will easily achieve an emission goal of 95g/km by 2020. T&E refers to this fact in arguing against carmakers getting so-called supercredits, which enable electric cars and plug-in hybrids to provide an even greater cut in average carbon dioxide emissions.

Supercredits have been available for low carbon cars since last year. Each new car sold that tested emissions of 50g/km or below is now counted 3.5 times toward the carmaker’s average for that year.

Among these cars are Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe and Opel/Vauxhall Ampera. According to T&E, supercredits create "fictitious emissions reductions only created through an accounting trick."

The lobby group estimates that supercredits in 2012 weakened the 130g/km target for 2015 by around 0.6g/km. The group said that without the supercredits, the carmakers’ over fleet COE for 2012 would have been 133g/km instead of 132.4g/km. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

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