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The EU has tightened the CO2-limits for cars. The manufacturer whining – you are responsible for her defeat.


It is serious, have known the car Manager in the automotive industry. That it seriously is not, perhaps.

37.5 percent of the CO2 emissions from new cars by 2030 will decrease compared to 2021 – and thus much stronger than the industry wanted and expected. Have agreed on Monday, EU member States and European Parliament. For light commercial vehicles, CO2, was agreed on-a reduction of 31 percent. As an intermediate target to be achieved in two classes of vehicle by 2025, a reduction of 15 per cent.

The force of the decision now shows more clearly than ever before: For the car manufacturer is no way more past a quick goodbye to the internal combustion engine.

From the beginning, the negotiations were unusually difficult, for in such matters accustomed to success, auto industry. The European Parliament demanded to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 percent. The EU member States argued in favour of a reduction of the CO2-value for new cars by an average of 35 percent. From the original proposal of the EU Commission and Germany – a reduction of only 30 percent – was not quick of speech.

“New limits in the direction of decision”

“The agreement is a clear Signal and a result of the failings of the auto industry in the past few years,” says the exhaust expert Jens Müller from the environmental organisation Transport & Environment (TE). The displaced diesel scandal, the efforts of the industry, limit values and exhaust gas tests, to weaken or evade at all – all this has left the politicians impression. “The new limits are a decision on the direction of the is no longer to reverse,” says Müller.

The car industry is now a lament, the conversion could not be done and poses a threat to many jobs. However, there is also evidence that the corporations have got the message long ago that the internal combustion engine is a discontinued model and alternative drives are the future.

As VW chief Herbert Diess has announced directly after the decision in Brussels, the renovation of the VW fleet, intensive driving forward as previously planned. With the tightening of the fleet target, the group must lift the share of E-cars in the total sales by 2030, to over 40 percent, said Diess in Wolfsburg. “This is not to say that our proposed reconstruction program.” It may also be that the verb would have to be reduced racers, generation would have to be extensive rebuilt and additional battery cell factories to be built.

VW pulls the first consequences

Volkswagen had so far assumed that the CO2 emissions should decrease by 2030 to 30 percent, said Diess. This goal got it covered VW with its electric strategy, which should flow in the next five years, 30 billion euros. Due to the pressure from Brussels, VW and other major manufacturers have to plan now.

But maybe it hurts the manufacturers not so, as they say. “At the end of the mobility change could go even faster than we think at this time,” says Müller. The limits are only introduced once, and the investments in alternative drive systems bear fruit, could make a scale effect, the technique cheaper. This increases the demand for the reduction of 37.5 per cent would, perhaps, create even easy to.

That would be the opinion of other environmental groups, however, also urgently needed. “From a climate protection point of view, much more would have been necessary,” said Peter Mock, the Director of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) to the CO2 decision. In order to meet the Paris climate protection agreement must reduce EU CO2 emissions from new passenger Cars in 2030 by about 70 percent. This is not impossible, says the Mock – technically manufacturers could bring down the emissions to almost zero.

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There are still loopholes

Then you no longer need the loopholes that offer you the new CO2 rules. The main point of criticism: The savings target of 37.5 percent refers to the CO2 emissions, the manufacturer will reach in the year 2021. Theoretically, it is the manufacturers to push the value artificially high and thus an easier target for 2030.

Although there is for 2021, the strict requirement that cars should emit on average only 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre. However, this goal you must achieve in the old test cycle, the NEDC, well, cheating. The values for the time after that, calculated according to the new cycle of the WLTP. So by the same manufacturer and 2021, the NEDC can reach the target and to the WLTP at the same time aware of the bad cut.

As an example to Mock calls to the software tuning of the automatic transmission. The switching operations are still optimized for the old cycle, the NEDC, to achieve there, so low values. At the same time you perform in the WLTP to higher consumption. The manufacturer gives the vehicle a in the year 2021, with a high value, he can modify the Software, then what is not prohibited. In the following year, the model will be certified with a new, much lower value. By this simple Trick, the manufacturer would have made a good share of the reduction, he must provide by 2030.

The bottom line is that manufacturers need to consider carefully whether they rely more on Manipulation or consistently on the move. Because the message of the stricter limits is clear: After years of delay tactics companies need to act now.

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