Automakers in Europe are speeding up the introduction of alternative fuel powertrains as they push to cut CO2 emissions by nearly one-third by 2021.
The European Union is demanding that average CO2 emissions from new cars sold in Europe are reduced to 95 grams per kilometer in 2021, down from about 132g/km in 2012. The 2021 target equates to fuel use of 4.1 liters per 100km for gasoline cars and 3.6 l/100km for diesel models.
Carmakers' targets vary depending upon the weight of the average vehicle sold. Most automakers selling cars in Europe are on track to meet the targets if they keep up with their past progress, said Transport & Environment, a clean-air lobby group that monitors vehicle manufacturers' annual progress toward meeting the goals.
Toyota, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Renault, Ford and Daimler and Volvo will reach their CO2 targets before 2020, while Volkswagen Group and Nissan are on schedule to achieve their assigned goals by 2021. Fiat and BMW, however, may miss their targets, T&E said.
Fiat has traditionally been among the most "green" carmakers in Europe because of its expertise in small engines. The company has lagged behind rivals in introducing electric cars and hybrids because it has delayed investment due to slumping car sales in its home market of Italy. Fiat, however, said in May its upcoming product plan calls for hybrid minivans. "We intend to meet the targets," a Fiat spokesman said.
T&E's study doesn’t take into account new more energy-efficient cars automakers will launch in the future, according to ISI, an equity research company, which disagrees with the T&E findings in the case of BMW. The premium automaker has invested heavily in its new i subbrand, which includes the i3 electric car and the i8 plug-in hybrid.
BMW also lobbied hard in Brussels for more generous supercredits that were eventually approved. A BMW spokeswoman said the automaker’s future product portfolio will have the mix of vehicles needed to comply with the rules.