Emission Targets Seen as Overly Ambitious and Unrealistic

The European Parliament's Environment Committee (ENVI) has voted to reduce emission standards for vans to a 2020 level for vans of 147g CO2/km. In response to this highly ambitious target, the European Automobile Association (ACEA) is requesting that policy makers consider the realities of possibility of achieving this goal along with the current economic situation. ACEA’s secretary general stated that though the automobile industry has historically been extremely compliant and supportive of environmental issues, and that the industry stands alone in emission reduction at all levels, the costs of achieving such an ambitious goal are extremely prohibitive, particularly for an industry that is struggling badly and which has seen sales fall by almost forty percent in the past several years.

Ivan Hodac, ACEA Secretary General, stated, "We are committed to further progress. However it is essential that policy makers take into account the realities in which the industry operates."

The emissions goals that were voted for today are so high that industry experts have indicated that the only way to achieve them is to be one hundred percent full hybrid throughout the industry and the European Union. Hybrid and electric vehicles have not been enthusiastically adopted by businesses thus far, in large part because they are extremely expensive to purchase and there are inconveniences involving recharging the vehicles.

One of the chief complaints that has been voiced about the ambitious goals is that they seem to be politically based rather than scientifically; there have been no analyses done of the actual viability or impact of the targets that have been put into place. Hodac pointed out that the environmentally efficient vehicles popularity with the politicians and leaders needed to spread to the business market, and suggested that more incentives needed to be put into place to improve their adoption.

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