Developments in CO2 emission legislation in Europe

Developments in CO2 emission legislation in Europe

European Union legislation sets mandatory emission reduction targets for new cars. This legislation is the cornerstone of the EU’s strategy to improve the fuel economy of cars sold on the European market. The law is similar to that covering new vans. The new rules are important for car manufacturers and workshop owners alike.

The fleet average to be achieved by all new cars is 130 grams of CO2 per kilometre (g/km) by 2015 – with the target phased in from 2012 – and 95g/km by 2021, phased in from 2020. The 2015 and 2021 targets represent reductions of 18% and 40% respectively compared with the 2007 fleet average of 158.7g/km. In terms of fuel consumption, the 2015 target is approximately equivalent to 5.6 litres per 100 km (l/100 km) of petrol or 4.9 l/100 km of diesel. The 2021 target equates to approximately 4.1 l/100 km of petrol or 3.6 l/100 km of diesel.

Limit value

Emission limits are set according to the mass of vehicle, using a limit value curve. The curve is set in such a way that a fleet average of 130 grams of CO2 per kilometre is achieved by 2015 and 95 grams of CO2 per km by 2021. The limit value curve means that heavier cars are allowed higher emissions than lighter cars while preserving the overall fleet average. Only the fleet average is regulated, so manufacturers are still able to make vehicles with emissions above the limit value curve provided these are balanced by vehicles below the curve.

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