European commission to push for low emission vehicle technologies to reduce CO2 emissions

With pollution rising at an alarming rate, the European Commission is looking to re introduce a clause for super credits that would allow car makers with low emission vehicles permission to manufacture high emitting gas guzzling vehicles. However, the overall target of 95 g/Km and 147 g/Km, for cars and vans respectively will remain unchanged. Changes would be seen wherein the super credit threshold will be reduced to 35 g/km for cars with a ‘multiplier factor’ of 1.3 for a cap of 20,000 vehicles per manufacturer.

In current times the only car to comply with these new standards is the Vauxhall Ampera with emission rates of 27 g/km which are well below the limits specified in the clause. Critics are arguing over the fact that if one would have to consider full lifecycle emissions, it would be seen that even best performing electric vehicles reach about 60 g/km.

According to Greg Archer, a programme manager at Transport and Environment, an NGO, it would have been regrettable if ‘super credits’ would be re introduced into the clause. This reduces need for manufactures to improve the efficiency of conventional vehicles, thereby causing the common man to spend more on fuel.
Super credits were introduced in 2008 in an effort to entice car makers to produce vehicles that have emissions below 50 g/km. this wasn’t possible as only electric car manufacturers could benefit from this factor. In order to balance out this equation, the legislation aims at bringing about the need for new technologies by providing super credits to those cars that are within the 50 g/km limit. This clause will benefit car makers until 2015 as specified by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

Passenger cars are at the forefront when you consider pollution levels in Europe. There has been a 26% rise in roadside emissions between 1990 and 2008. If car makers were to comply with the limitations laid down by the legislation, it would mean a significant increase in prices of cars which would hit the consumer market hard. Though cars are already getting cleaners in the past few years, more needs to be done in order to produce fuel efficient vehicles for use by the general public.