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Automakers in cash peril over CO2

2011-12-21 09:52

SHOWROOM STRAIN: Auto companies - at least some - are facing huge fines if their new cars don't meet exhaust emission standards.

PARIS, France - A handful of automakers are risking fines possibly totalling the equivalent of more than R100-million for failing to meet European targets on carbon emissions in 2012.

The European Environment Agency warned this could happen if they failed to improve the carbon efficiency of new cars between 2010 and 2012.


The emissions target across the industry is an average of 130g/km of CO2 per new passenger vehicle. Within this collective target, companies have individual goals based on the average mass of their fleet.

From 2012, 65% of a company's newly-registered cars in the European Union must meet the target. In 2013, the threshold will rise to 75-80% percent in 2014 and 100% in 2015. As of 2010, 32 manufacturers representing almost 80% of new registrations achieved the 2012 objective, the Copenhagen-based agency said in a report.

Those in front are Toyota, followed by Fiat, Renault and Peugeot-Citroen, which also are between one and five grams short of their 2015 targets. Laggards include Daimler, Skoda, General Motors-Daewoo, Nissan, Mazda and Dacia.

EAA executive director Jacqueline McGlade said: "Today, people use many forms of transport, but cars still represent a big part of everyday life. The data show that most car manufacturers have met their individual 2012 targets but several need to continue their current trend of year-on-year efficiency improvements."


The directive offers flexibility to manufacturers who introduce cars with very low (less than 50g/km) emissions, who make vehicles that run on E85 biofuels or who use experimental CO2-reducing technology.

Road transport accounts for 17.5% of Europe's overall greenhouse gas emissions. Its emissions increased by 23% between 1990 and 2009, the EAA said.

In 2010, the average emissions of a new car registered in the 27 EU nations was 140.3g/km. The EU has set a long-term target of 95g/km for 2020.

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