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MEPs vote for tougher CO2 and ULEV sales targets

The European Parliament has voted in favour of a 20% targeted reduction in new car and van CO2 emissions between 2021 and 2025, with sub-50g/km vehicles to account for at least a fifth of all registrations by that point.

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20% of vehicles registered in the EU must be sub-50g/km by 2025

Adopted with 389 votes to 239 this afternoon, the draft law sets out the next phase in CO2 emissions reductions for carmakers in the region, who are currently working towards 95g/km average CO2 emissions for new cars and 147g/km for vans by 2021, with ‘super credits’ for selling low-emission vehicles and financial penalties for not complying.

A 20% reduction in CO2 emissions would require manufacturers to average 76g/km for cars and 118g/km for vans, while also setting the first sales target – 20% of their total volume – for vehicles emitting less than 50g/km. By 2030, the target is a 40% drop in average CO2 emissions for cars and vans, with 35% of sales in the region to be ultra-low emission vehicles.

The European Commission has two years to propose plans for on-road CO2 testing, using portable technology, with a view to introducing this in 2023. By the end of 2019, the European Commission will propose legislation to standardise fuel consumption, CO2 and pollutant emission information, and life-cycle CO2 emissions will be reported from 2025 onwards.

Although these regulations won’t directly apply to the UK, the Department for Transport has said it will introduce regulations which are “at least as ambitious” as the EU’s after Brexit. They will also steer research and development of new models, indirectly affecting vehicles sold here.

Non-compliance with the CO2 limits will result in fines for carmakers, which will be used to upskill workers in the automotive industry impacted by changes in the sector, as well as supporting battery manufacturing within Europe and putting charging infrastructure in place.

Miriam Dalli, of the committee on the environment, public health and food safety, said: “Achieving the European Parliament’s support for a 40% CO2 emissions target by 2030 was no mean feat and I am proud of the successful result achieved. Equally important is the 20% emissions target for 2025.

“This legislation goes beyond reducing harmful emissions and protecting the environment. It looks at setting the right incentives for manufacturers; it encourages investment in the infrastructure; it proposes a just transition for workers. Now, I look forward to representing the European Parliament and negotiating on its behalf for strong legislation with the European Council and the European Commission”.

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.