Motor industry suggests revision to van CO2 legislation

28 October 2009 #SMMT News

The European Commission today proposed a tough new law to cut average CO2 emissions from vans. Industry remains committed to the continued reduction of road transport emissions and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders now urges European policy-makers to make the legal framework more supportive and realistic in a move towards a low carbon economy.

The Commission wants to set van makers a fleet average target of 175g CO2/km or 42.8 mpg from 2014, phased-in to 2016. With seven-year product development cycles in the van and light commercial vehicle market, industry feels the lead-times are too short to allow the delivery of affordable products to the market.
“Vans are an integral part of the European economy and at a time of economic downturn and belt-tightening, businesses do not have the capacity to invest in new products,” said Paul Everitt SMMT chief executive. “Industry needs sufficient lead times and reasonable targets to provide affordable products. These must be fit for purpose as business tools. In the current economic climate, the EU regulation must maintain the sector’s diversity while encouraging innovation and the move to low carbon models.”
Across the EU, demand for vans fell 35% this year. UK demand is down 41% in the first nine months of 2009 and is forecast to end the year 37% down on 2008. Any new legislation should take the economic situation, as well as the diversity of the sector and its specific characteristics into account.
Industry will now work with the European Council and Parliament to develop the proposal into a workable piece of legislation that delivers for the environment as well as for the economy. 

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