PA’s CO₂ emissions report is featured in Svenska Dagbladet and PA's Thomas Goettle, automotive expert, discusses the investigation of pollution targets in the motor industry.
Four major carmakers –Volkswagen, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Hyundai-Kia –risk missing the tough targets the EU has set for how much carbon newly-manufactured vehicles should produce. Volkswagen risk a penalty of about SEK 9 billion.
Carmakers will have to pay fines in 2021 if they don’t meet the targets by then. For Volkswagen this will come on top of payouts they might have to make following lawsuits that result from the discovery they’d been tricking emissions tests.
The article includes statistics from our report. We found Peugeot Citroen, Fiat, Renault-Nissan, Toyota and Volvo should cope with the new requirements, thanks to a determined effort over several years. Jaguar Land Rover is likely to miss the target. But, as a small European car manufacturer, the fines are less of a problem. It’s worse for large manufacturers like Volkswagen and Hyundai – because the penalty fee is 95 euros per gram above the limit, multiplied by the number of cars sold.
The CO₂ emissions challenge: how can carmakers meet the 2021 targets for CO₂ emissions?
Thomas explains that the current tests don’t check vehicles under realistic driving conditions: “The EU plans to introduce Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure in 2017. The new tests are expected to show that, on average, cars emit 10 per cent more carbon dioxide than the previous tests showed.”
Thomas highlights several ways to cut average emissions. Manufacturers might need to develop new engines – that could mean an extra cost per car of around 300 euros – and they can also use more lightweight metals to reduce the weight of the car. Thomas explains that there’s a general trend towards using aluminum, special steels and hybrid materials of carbon fibre or plastic combined with magnesium.