Government incentives key to achieving CO2 goals in Europe

  • 13-Feb-2009 08:08 EST

Government-led consumer incentives for the purchase of low-emission vehicles will be the most important long-term enabler for automakers in Europe to meet tough CO2 standards, according to Jato Consult in a new report. Through the first nine months of 2008, the best-performing 50% of the new-car market in Europe averaged 130 g/km, which is the level 100% of the new vehicles must meet, on average, in 2015. By comparison, only 39% of new vehicles met that level in 2007, 24% in 2003. Under the phase-in, 65% of a manufacturer's fleet must average 130 g/km in 2012, 75% in 2013, and 80% in 2014. The main challenge for automakers, according to Jato, is reconciling the emissions mandate with the consumer's desire for vehicles that feature greater safety performance and higher levels of standard equipment—both of which, depending on how the features are implemented, can work against fuel efficiency by increasing vehicle weight. Jato noted that European countries that have introduced CO2-based taxation systems generally have seen the most reductions to date.

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