Automotive industry: New CO2 targets are ambitious

The EU Commission presented a clean mobility package at the end of 2017 setting new CO2 targets for passenger vehicles and delivery vehicles. New cars are to emit 15% less CO2 by 2025 on average to begin with and then 30% less by 2030. The starting point is the emission of 95g of CO2 per km for passenger vehicles and 147g for light commercial vehicles. Based on the conversion of the consumption measurement procedure to the “Worldwide harmonized light vehicles test procedure”, only relative targets are set. A quota ruling for electro mobility is not envisaged.

The trends in new registrations in 2017 suggest that stricter CO2 emission standards are very difficult to reach at present. This is because 1.) the share of passenger cars with low CO2 emissions continues to decline, 2.) the demand for SUVs and off-road vehicles with high CO2 emissions continues to increase and 3.) pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids – despite growth – are not eking out of their niche existence.

The further tightening of CO2 emission limits after 2021 is presenting the automotive manufacturers with major challenges. On the one hand the number of available electric models from German automotive manufacturers is expected to more than triple by 2020, for which investments in the amount of EUR 40 billion will be required. On the other hand the share of electric drives (pure e-vehicles and plug-in hybrids) is likely to develop only very slowly from 1.6% at present in the direction of the range of 15-25% expected by the automotive manufacturers in 2025.

In our view there is only likely to be a significant increase in new vehicle registrations with alternative drives if a large number of framework conditions are fulfilled:
1.) extensive and rapid expansion of the charging network,
2.) improved and higher state subsidies (Norway as an example),
3.) increased ranges of electric cars and
4.) end to the cost disadvantage for this type of drive.

If these requirements are fulfilled, there is a good chance that buying patterns will change and that future CO2 emission limits can be adhered to.

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