Auto Regulations

Helping and punishing

Stau – Verkehr
Making room for cleaner air. Source: picture alliance

As politicians from around the globe gathered in Bonn, the capital of former West Germany, to discuss environmental protection, the European Commission in Brussels hit the car industry with new climate regulations.

From Mercedes-maker Daimler to VW and Peugeot to Ford, all carmakers in Europe now need to produce vehicles that emit 15 percent less carbon dioxide by 2025 compared with 2021 levels and 30 percent less by 2030. The EU’s executive body also earmarked €1 billion to expand the infrastructure of charging networks for alternative fuels such as electricity, hydrogen and natural gas, and to promote the production of batteries used in electric cars.

European carmakers have been slow to successfully bringing electric vehicles to market, whereas Japan’s Toyota, Silicon Valley-based Tesla and Chinese carmakers have built up sizeable positions in the hybrid and electric car markets. “The EU automotive industry risks losing its technological leadership in particular with respect to zero- and low-emission vehicles, with the US, Japan, South Korea and China moving ahead very quickly in this segment,” the EU’s executive body said in a statement.

In addition to pushing Europe’s carmakers to adapt new technologies quicker, the proposed regulations are part of the continent’s efforts to reduce overall CO2 emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels. Road transport contributes to 22 percent of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions, which Europe wishes to cut as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

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