Last week, despite guarded recommendations by the European Commission and complaints from automobile manufacturers, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted for a 40% reduction in car emissions by 2030.
The European Parliament aims to persuade all 28 nations of the European Union to support the plan. The 40% figure came as a trade-off to appease both greens and those who fear harm to the car industry.
Moving the goalposts
After Volkswagen conceded, in September 2015, that they’d tampered with diesel engines to falsify emissions tests, vehicle emissions have become an even greater concern.
Following the scandal, all diesel vehicles have received broad scrutiny, with a lot of them found to emit much less pollution during tests than they do on our roads.
In last week’s meeting, the EU’s executive Commission supported only a 30% cut to emissions, while the environment committee wanted a 45% reduction.
The EU nations environment ministers will confer further this month, but a definitive ruling may not come before December this year.
This isn’t the first time legislation has changed to increase the percentage in which the European Parliament aims to reduce CO2 emissions. Last month, they raised the figure to a 30% cut by 2021 and before that; the aim was of a 15% decrease of CO2 by 2025.
Manufacturers must also make sure that, by 2025, zero and low-emission vehicles make up a 20% market share of their sales of new cars and vans. This figure increases to 35% by 2030.
The UK government has declared a ban on sales of all new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040. Other countries such as Denmark, India, Ireland, and the Netherlands have set their deadlines for 2030.
A clear majority
Despite government guidance welcoming the proposal as in line with UK policy, British Conservative MEPs voted against the 40% target. This is surprising as the UK’s own 2050 target is to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 80% of the 1990 levels, equating to a minimum of 3% decrease in emissions year on year. Once we leave the EU, how will this affect the plans as we will no longer have to meet official targets?
Some countries haven’t yet announced their opinion on the proposal, but Germany has resisted any further rise to the current 30% decrease in CO2 output recommended by the European Commission.
Germany says it has its own strategies to decrease pollution from older diesel vehicles by inviting car manufacturers to offer trade-in incentives and hardware fixes.
German interest group, Verband der Automobilindustrie VDA—also known as the German Association of the Automotive Industry—, which represents chief car manufacturers such as BMW and Volkswagen, said the European Parliament was setting “completely unrealistic targets.”
VDA President Bernhard Mattes said, “It is ignoring the technical and economic feasibility” of the proposal.
“It will not be possible to implement the targets in this timeframe,” he added, arguing that lawmakers risked endangering jobs in many European countries.
Clean Vehicles Manager at Transport and Environment, Julia Poliscanova, disagrees and said: “This vote is good news for the climate, for jobs in Europe and for the millions of Europeans who will start to enjoy cleaner air in their cities.
“A clear majority of EU governments supports Parliament’s decision to accelerate the transition to clean and electric mobility.
“Only Germany, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria oppose higher ambition.
“We shouldn’t allow Germany to hold an entire continent to ransom over its failed diesel strategy.”
While potential job loss in the auto industry causes concern for many, others say these stricter targets will bring positive consequences for job creation in green technologies. MEPs have agreed that carmakers with average CO2 emissions above the targets must pay a fine into the EU budget, to pay for teaching workers affected by changes in the automotive sector to develop new skills.
The interesting aspect of this is that of Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania voting against the proposal, these three countries are developing rapidly and all contribute considerably to the current emissions figures. Do they perhaps need lower emissions targets to be able to increase their GDP or is there another reason for the resistance?
An electrifying future
Experts say there has to be an increase in the sale of electric and hybrid vehicles before it’s possible to see a considerable reduction in emissions, but while lots of people want an electric car, the cost is prohibitive to many.
Drivers also worry about the lack of available recharging sites and battery range. That said, this year’s Nissan Leaf boasts a range of 168 miles.
While prices for electric vehicle (EV) are reducing, you’re still looking at over £20k to buy a new EV. If that’s something you can afford, but you want to know more about the benefits, in terms of cost, you might the following information useful:
The UK Government provides an incentive for those who buy new Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles (ULEVs) with their Plug-in Car Grant. The dealership deducts the grant from the cost of the car when you buy. Depending on the category and model the car belongs to, you can get 35% (up to a maximum of £2,500 or £4,500) off the cost of the car.
A complete charge in a pure electric vehicle provides an average range of 100 miles and costs £2 to £4—much cheaper than it’ll cost you to drive 100 miles in a petrol or diesel car. Pure EVs costing less than £40,000 don’t pay Vehicle Excise Duty (VED or ‘road tax’). All other cars, including plug-in hybrids, pay a minimum of £130. For the first five years of ownership, EVs that cost more than £40,000 have a VED of £310—cheaper than the £450 VED for a conventional car costing £40,000 or more.
Plug-in cars emitting 75g/km CO2 or less get a 100% discount from the London Congestion Charge. A regular user of this zone could make an annual saving of over £2,500.
Grants exist from Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to install home chargers for plug-in vehicles via the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme. This provides funding of up to 75% (capped at £500), of the eligible expenses of installation.
There are many other benefits to driving an EV, not related to cost, and, while these cars aren’t without their downsides, like it or not, they look certain to be a part of our motoring Future.
What’s your view on the European Parliament’s target of a 40% reduction in car emissions by 2030? Do you think it’s achievable? Is this too ambitious a goal or are we not going far enough to tackle global warming? What are your views on EVs? Tell us in the comments.
I am of the oppinion that economy is no longer a criteria when it comes to implications caused by climate change…quicker we act it is better…unfortunately it is difficult to get out of this financially orientated mindset….but we will have no choice…the nature will force us…but it may be too late.
Climate change is caused by anything but human activity. It is all a scam. What next? Global Cooling? – Oh wait, we had that one in the seventies. Then we had Global Warming but it got a bit colder. So now we have Climate Change as in ‘the weather’. No you really could not make it up. You people need to wise up.
I’m not sure what you’ve been hearing Fred, but it’s not science. Science agrees with Felix. http://ipcc.ch/report/sr15/
(Unlike yours, my comment has a link to facts so you can verify them).
Sadly as my PHD tutor always reminds us, not all references (links) have the same value as others.
Climate and weather are two different things.
Changes in climate affect the weather. Are you going to argue that there has been no increase in extreme weathers in the last few decades or that the figures and data collected from years of study is wrong that increased Co2 is effectig the climate and that the increase that falls almost in line with the industrial revolution is merely wrong?
It is people like yourself that need to wise up. Burying your head in the sand or plugging your ears and crying
I'm not listeningbecause you lack the understanding about the climate, Co2 emissions and man-kinds responsibility for this increase, is not a valid or reasonable argument against Climate Change.
Your belief has no validity in the face of facts, data and statistics.
When everyone has a ‘green’ car nobody will be paying road tax. The roads are already suffering with long overdue repairs and maintenance. trimming trees and bushes is zero in some places to the extent that road signs are completely obscured. I am a private hire driver and there isn’t a vehicle suitable to do my job travelling to and from airports 300-400 miles a day sometimes. Cleaner Euro 6 cars were introduced in 2015 so in time we will be cleaner. Cities are introducing a Clean Air Charge £12.50 per day. This will put people out of work, visits to Cities will reduce so shops, restaurants and entertainment will decline. This is yet another tax. So if you can afford a Tesla then you can afford road tax. Road tax is for people with cars so charge them.
Don’t worry, tax will be payable on green cars later but with a different made up justification.
It’s actually an emissions tax.
Plus councils pay for the roads, tell your local scummy council to get their fingers out. Tell them to stop embezzling your money into their pensions.
Motorways are managed by the highways agency, so that’s general taxation.
Red routes and some roads are managed by tfl for example, so the congestion charge and bus fares pay for London roads.
Whilst we in the UK cut, penalise and pay penalties what is the rest of the world doing? China and Russia for example. We breath their air. I forget we pay so others can pollute. Roll on Brexit.
Philby China is the biggest manufacturer of EV cars.
The see which way the wind is blowing and will still their cars over here.
Get a grip let’s make some money selling EV cars.
Brexit? Don’t make me laugh. P**s poor idea cooked up by millionaires who will make more on your misery
And EV cars are not really as green as people like you make them out to be. Diesel was the previous idiol, EV will be the next until the environmental hazard of scraping them comes to light, not forgetting the not so green Electricity generated by the not so environmentally friendly, wind turbines and solar panels.
but we (UK) and other countries sustain China’s economy (and pollution produced by it) by simple buying their products!!! (this has nothing to do with brexit)
….that is right… the whole world should act together…but this is difficult to be achieved and it is not an excuse for us to do nothing….unfortunately climate change is a fact….
Some Chinese cities actually have very strict emission laws.
Some have outlawed ICE bikes, some use the Euro 5 and 6 standards and ban older cars etc.
Plus China is trying to cut down on its coal addiction by building new “renewable” sources of energy.
The UK exports most of the wind turbines we build to China and other “developing” countries.
I don’t know where you obtain the assumption that the UK exports most of the wind turbines we build to China, but this link to a recent publication would perhaps suggest otherwise:
This very recent article on the BBC News website also appears to contradict your assertion about China ‘trying to cut down on its coal addiction’. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45640706
the eu beaurocrats can vote anything. if it is feasible is a different matter…..
The push for EV’s still ignores how the electricity is produced and the number of warnings that demand will exceed supply. At this rate personal transport will return to being only available to the wealthy.
I find government advice very suspect. If you take man made global warming and climate change as an example, the research findings have been criticised by many as being flawed, and the methodology and modelling suspect. There is a very large body of scientists who refute the findings of the research but surprise, surprise their voices are drowned out. Further examples of government advice, now refuted by many, include the advice to move towards the eating of reduced fat spreads etc instead of full fat butter and dairy products. The diesel emissions saga is just the latest example of poor government advice which penalises the consumer but does not hold the government to account.
“A very large body of scientists who refute the findings of the research”? Like who? Any names or links to their research papers? Plenty of self-proclaimed pseudo-scientists who post loads of nonsense on the internet, but real science?
I have yet to meet any sane person who refutes the fact that the climate is changing. It always has – hence the ice-age and the medieval mini-ice ages that enabled the frost fairs.
Without doubt the global climate is warming – and this seems to correlate with post industrial-revolution development.
BUT correlation is NOT causation – and I have yet to see a convincing causation.
For all we know the extraction of energy from the atmosphere using wind-turbines might be tipping some balance of which we are currently not aware – we only just discovered that the shock-waves from WW2 bombing raids affected the upper atmosphere.
To call people with views on either side in sum ways thick etc. is merely to demonstrate a closed mind and a selfish dogma … people can interpret the evidence the choose the way we choose – but that is a long way from actually ‘knowing’.
Cotyledon, could you highlight where the causal relationship between the increase in atmospheric CO2 and the accelerated increase in global temperature breaks down? Is the atmospheric CO2 concentration not increasing? Is the increase not caused by the burning of fossil fuels? Does CO2 not cause positive radiative forcing? Does positive radiative forcing not increase global temperatures? Where is the fatal flaw in this rationale?
Far from being close-minded or dogmatic, climate scientists spend a significant amount of effort on investigating possible alternative causes of the observed temperature rise (solar activity, volcanic activity, etc. – you name it: if it is even remotely plausible they will probably have considered it). They study the underlying physics and use advanced models to analyse their effect on the earth’s climate (unfortunately, it’s impractical to verify the results through direct experiment) and evaluate how well their results match observations (the ultimate sanity check). As they do so the evidence that the cause of the accelerated temperature increase is anthropogenic becomes stronger every day. Of course, it is always possible that scientists have overlooked something, but any “wiggle room” is fast evaporating. Any suggestions as to which phenomena should be considered for further study would be welcome.
Get the documetory that was on Sky Atlantic about 12months ago called TEN BILLION by Professional.Steven Emmens and a team of real expect environmental scientists conducted over a ten year period. These are the real facts that the idiots in the EU and our own goverment choosr to ignor.
View this if you are interested in fact not fiction and you will have your scientists that Challenge your myth.
SMART meters will allow a higher tariff to be apllied for electricity used for charging cars, thus replacing road tax.
Autonomous cars will reduce the need for private car ownership. We will use an app to call up a car when we need to use one, rather than own one.
The biggest obstacle to electric cars is the need to roll out tens of millions of charging points across the country in a short time and national grid capacity.
Lithium Ion batteries are not very green. There is a huge environmental impact from mining lithium and cobalt, and at present only 2% of lithium ion batteries are recycled, compared to 98% of lead acid batteries.
None of these commissions seem to take into account the thousands of aircraft in the air every day dumping tons of pollutants into the atmosphere
Can you imagine the M25 on a Friday afternoon littered with abandoned cars after their batteries have run flat, a nissan leaf may have a range of 168 miles in ideal circumstances, but Im sure in the middle of winter, when the temperature is below freezing and the electric heater running on full power, I bet the range is less than half of that
my leaf does 140-150 with heating on as needed in winter, 170 in summer thanks. do you set out for a long journey without enough fuel?
Arbitrary targets will always do more harm than good & this sounds about as arbirary as it gets.. then there is whether it is actually going to achieve anything useful anyway. We still have volcanoes that can dwarf anything we may be able to achieve & in a much shorter period of time. By the way CO2 is something we all breath out & plants need in order to produce oxygen; it is a part of the cycle of life & yet often labelled as pollution.
Well we won’t be in the EU much longer so they can get stuffed. Where is all this electricity going to come from?
Great, the Eurocrats who are driven around in £100,000 hybrids kick the ordinary guy again, it does seem like a world of two halves at times. That said, by 2040 we should, hopefully, be someway to achieving this.
Taking the environment as a whole, EVs are not the answer the environmental cost of producing an EV with its battery is considerably more than that of a conventional vehichle.
Even given the disparity in running polution, with the sunk cost, it takes an ev 9 years of running to start to be better for the environment that a modern diesel.
On top of that, the rare earth elements key to making Lithium Ion Batteries are only available from countries with questionable regiemes that we are making rich…
Tie this with the need to increase capacity in the Grid and Electrical Generation, when even without EVs when the older generation Nuclear Plants go offline we will allready be short of electricity.
The UK electricity mix (dispite the coal free days) is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels (natural Gas at 40.4%, 6.9% from coal) and nuclear (20.8%) renewables are at 29.3%, just under half of this is wind. with the renewables output being dependant on conditions, we need large energy storage to stabalise the flow.
Once again the ignorant dictators in the EU are at it. Instead of facing the real issue to our environmental and Planet I.e. Overpopulation. If you don’t have s Brain, follow the easy route the ignorant Green’s agenda, when have they ever come up with a logical, practically, or economic solution to anything. Just spout rubbish and add to everyones costs.
With Jaguar and Audi offering EVs in iPace and Etron at circa £65k the government needs a serious rethink as to what the alternatives are for the normal household! £65k for a single car is crazy and is not an alternative for the vast majority of road users.
. I can’t have a EV as I have no where to charge the car as i have no parking at my home.The cost of buying one is outside mt budget by the time i could afford one second hand the batteries would no good. The real way to would be Hydrogen fuel it’s safe, e ,no waiting for charging it up ,restrictive distance and would not have to build more power plants to supply the electric we would need (there is going to be problems in the future without EV cars). Glad the UK is leaving the EU, We will not have to follow there rulings anymore. The EU need to get none EU countries to clean there pollution up. If the UK had no pollution it would make little or no difference to climate change as we are a small island
We must reduce our carbon footprint, I think that is an undisputed fact. However I seriously wonder just how much difference removing (diesel and petrol) cars and light vans would make. We have to start somewhere of course.
I would love to see a chart showing averages for the various different contributors, admittedly we can’t fix everything. Major polluters might include: –
Cars & Light Vans
Animals (Cows produce a massive amount of co2, so presumably all animals do. There was news storey during the week suggesting a mid sized dog leaves a larger footprint than a mid sized SUV – seems hard to believe.)
Humans (by their existence not by use of products)
Plus anything else significant.
IF cars and vans were responsible for say 10% or more, it would be easier for everyone to get behind the idea. IF cars and vans only equates to 1% then perhaps we are focusing in the wrong direction. Government bodies must have these statistics.
I recently read that the wind turbines are causing a rise in temperature so are we going to put a tax on electric cars to compensate. All tne EU regulations will be designed to suit whatever the Germans can achieve to give then an advantage over other manufacturers. Will never see them penalised for the diesel gate rip off which has increased pollution levels illegally.
A comment on the shortage of charging points for electric cars. A friend last month wanted to travel 450 miles in her new all electric car, the first charging point had no WiFi access and therefore did not work, the next charging point which was at the mileage limit for the car, had stopped offering the service as it was not sufficiently profitable. The lady had to get her car lifted back on a recovery lorry.
Battery breakthrough could charge EVs ‘in seconds’
THIS WAS A NEWS STOREY IN AUGUST 2018 – MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH IF DEVELOPED.
Read more at: https://inews.co.uk/essentials/lifestyle/cars/car-news/breakthrough-charge-ev-battery-in-seconds/
It may be ambitious but if we don’t start doing as much as possible, and as quickly as possible, our legacy will be a very unpleasant environment that future generations would not thank us for. A repeat of the story of Rapa Nui, on a global scale. It’s astonishing how short sighted man can be.
After all, if we carry out a bit of effort to clean up our act and it turns out that it’s not as bad as first thought, then what have we lost? – nothing. But if we do too little and end up putting life on earth at risk at any level, then we are our own worst enemy and don’t deserve our beautiful blue planet.
A reduction in emissions of that magnitude is just not possible, how will the 2030 lorry or truck be powered then? By diesel, of course.
And electricity is not the answer either, electric cars still have a pitiful range, so are unsuitable for everybody except the to-the-station commuter.
If an engine burns fuel, it’s got to emit something – where else can the fumes go?!
How about all the farming vehicles Tractors Harvesters Loader’s Land Rovers Generators plus the Tractors used on the public highway pulling stock wagons. How many farmers will be using ELECTRIC VEHICLES for ploughing l could go on but I have said enough.
Even though you make references to the inadequacies of electric vehicles there is no mention of hydrogen fuelled development. A hydrogen vehicle is much more like a petrol or diesel vehicle in its unlimited mileage, absence of charging, and similarity of operation. Most of the development in hydrogen is taking place in bus fleets or emergency vehicles like ambulances. Who wants an ambulance on charge or running out of battery. The Government needs to invest in this more than they do now.
Until all electricity is generated carbon neutral and electric cars can travel a minimum of 400 miles or more without a plug in needed they are not an option for me and the majority of people I know. I would not like to try and drive to Spain or the South of France in an electric car it would take forever with all the plug in time needed.
Don’t forget as soon as we all are forced to electric cars you can expect a heavy tax to be created to cover the loss in fuel taxes.
Anyway my 3 ltr diesel car is less polluting than any of the petrol cars i have owned..
“The UK’s own 2050 target”? I’ll be 105 then! Hope my dearly loved Rover 75 Auto Diesel is still on the go though!
A Nissan leaf battery costs 12p/mile to rent, minimum! Where diesel for a similar sized car costs less than 10p/mile. Then you have to charge your battery. Then every three years the battery has to go to landfill. The blinking thing only does a hundred and twenty miles on a charge when new, what use is that?
EU. ??? Will we still be part of it then. ???
I spent 37K on a fairly modest family car with low depreciation however I am now facing larger Road Fund Licence fees as the Initial list price before discount was just over £40k as the car has a sunroof. Is this extra tax fair????
These decisions are totally unnecessary. Reducing emissions by these methods will not do anything to reduce global warming. One volcanic eruption cancels out all the ‘man-made’ reductions made to CO2 emisions. Methane produces 23 times more CO2 than CO2 itself. Reducing methane requires action to reduce the world population, rice production , and also animals. [Animals produce CO2 from breathing and methane at the other end]. This is a King Canute situation, so why try. [He couldn’t stop the tide]
The MEPs are clearly on another planet. Making car manufacturers whose product range average emissions exceed some arbitrary level pay a fine to a fund set up to reeducate workers affected by the tightening rules…. This means that manufacturers who DON’T want to destroy their businesses and make their workers unemployed must pay fines to support other manufacturers who ARE willng to make their workforce unemployed, but don’t want to face all the costs of preparing their workers for unemployment. So the MEPs want to damage the industry no matter whether the manufacturers are complicit in it or not.
I am all for the notion of reducing pollution so that we can all breathe pure unadulterated pre-human-era mountain-fresh-air-with-added-vitamins-and-minerals, but let us be realistic and face facts. The history of mankind has been built upon developments coming hand in hand with increased fuel combustion. Coal and oil have supported the development of the modern world to its current state and the world is nowhere near a universal solution to enable future prosperity without burning fuel. The closest we have come (ignoring unreliable undependable environment-destroying, wildlife-murdering noise-terrorising wind power) is NUCLEAR power and in concert with the mandated increase in electric vehicles, i would suggest that these vehicles need to be powered solely by nuclear power stations in order for them to claim any ‘environmental’ credentials whatsoever. That is to ignore the environmental damage wrought by the extraction and refining and transportation of the exotic metals needed for their batteries, plus the manufacture of those batteries – and to ignore the fact that all of these batteries will (like batteries do) reduce in efficiency over time until they become unusable and must be replaced. Do you want to buy a second-hand (or fouth-hand, for that matter) hybrid/electric car that will be getting ever closer to the point where the owner must pay out many thousands for new batteries? Great news for the battery manufacturers – guaranteed money for old rope (new battery technology is the modern day equivalent of alchemy – you can believe in it all you like, but it’s not happening…) but what about the pollution caused, never mind the cock-eyed economics??
Meanwhile – on the matter of NUCLEAR power – we are facing mounting energy insecurity because of the closure of coal-fired power stations and the refusal to update the nuclear power generating estate (because government in the early 1990s shied away from the issue and only recently has the matter become so urgent that government was forced to look again). Due to that gap in the development cycle, we no longer have the home-grown expertise (the UK used to be the world leader in nuclear technology), so we have to depend upon the French (who have plentiful nuclear-generated electricity – so much that EdF makes a mint from selling the excess to the UK) and the Chinese (who build power stations even before they’ve decided what to use the electricity for) to come along and build our next generation of nuclear power stations. Even with that foreign support (and don’t think it comes for free – profits from power generation will go to France and China), that next generation won’t be online until at least 2030 and so we have a decade-plus of mounting energy insecurity while we wait – and never mind the political worries over giving the Chinese the keys to our power generation capacity…. All this trouble has only come about because of so-called Green policies.
Germany is in its own self-enforced energy hell, courtesy of their Energiewende. They’ve closed their nuclear power stations and spent a fortune on wind turbines instead. However, the wind blows best in the north and the energy-intensive industries that need the electricity are in the south – and their power transmission grid cannot handle the scale of energy transfer required. There are also technical problems with wind power disturbing the stability of the grid – unpredictable uncontrollable over- or under-supply affecting the frequency of the supplied electricity and over-stressing the grid. When the wind blows too much, grid power has to go back into the turbines to brake them and they must be disconnected from their supply role (hence they are a burden). Then when the wind doesn’t blow enough at the right times, Germany has to resort to back-up generation (fast-responding emergency DIESEL-fuelled generators. probably the dirtiest generators imaginable) and the lack of nuclear generation means that Germany’s electricity generation base load is borne by COAL-fired power stations…. with the result that Germany’s CO2 emissions from power generation have INCREASED since the Energiewende was enacted. Germany is the embodiment of Green lunacy.