Auto industry reacts to European Commission’s decarbonisation strategy

Brussels, 20 July 2016 – Following today’s publication of the ‘European Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility’ by the European Commission, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) welcomes the initiative to explore how to further decarbonise transport in Europe.

“The automobile industry is fully committed to continue reducing CO2 emissions across all business segments, from passenger cars to trucks,” stated ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. However, as this strategy puts all the emphasis on road transport, ACEA calls for a more balanced approach, addressing all modes of transport – including air, maritime and rail.

Technology neutrality is key to supporting innovation and thus greater fuel-efficiency, so ACEA welcomes the fact that this principle is enshrined in today’s communication. “All vehicle manufacturers will continue investing in both internal combustion engines as well as the full range of alternative powertrains that meet the demands of both private and business customers,” stated Jonnaert. “As the Communication rightly points out however, a wider roll-out of infrastructure for alternative fuel vehicles is needed to enable a stronger market uptake of zero- or low-emissions vehicles by 2030.”

Although the strategy discusses digital mobility, pricing and energy sources, ACEA notes that most of the binding measures proposed relate only to new vehicle technology, with insufficient focus on the other important factors that influence emissions during the use of the vehicle, such as fuels, faster fleet renewal, improving infrastructure, altering driver behavior, and leveraging the potential of connected and automated vehicles. Jonnaert: “Focusing on new vehicle technology alone will have limited environmental benefits. A more effective approach would seek to address the full fleet and look at how these vehicles are used.”

Depending on their mission, most trucks are custom-built on an individual basis, often in a multi-stage process, in order to meet specific requirements. CO2 reduction policy for heavy-duty vehicles should therefore not follow the same approach as that for passenger cars, ACEA cautions.

The industry is working closely with the European Commission on a computer simulation tool (VECTO), which will model CO2 emissions from a wide variety of complete truck and trailer configurations. By 2018, VECTO will enable manufacturers to provide certified CO2 values to their customers for each and every truck produced. The automobile industry fully supports the upcoming Commission proposal on monitoring and reporting, based on VECTO. It is important that policy makers give time to analyse the impact of this data collection and certification procedure –  which is a necessary tool to tackle the knowledge gap regarding truck emissions – before considering setting CO2 limits.

Jonnaert concluded: “ACEA is now looking forward to contribute constructively to the elaboration of specific proposals, in order to identify the most effective and cost-efficient ways to further reduce CO2 emissions from transport.”

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Notes for editors

  • ACEA represents the 15 Europe-based car, van, truck and bus manufacturers: 
    BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford of Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco, Jaguar Land Rover, Opel Group, PSA Group, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.
  • More information can be found on www.acea.be or @ACEA_eu

Contact
Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director, cm@acea.be, +32 2 738 73 45; +32 485 88 66 47.

About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.2 million people - or 5.6% of the EU employed population - work in the sector.
  • The 3.1 million jobs in automotive manufacturing represent 10.4% of EU manufacturing employment.
  • Motor vehicles account for over €400 billion in tax contributions in the EU15.
  • The sector is also a key driver of knowledge and innovation, representing Europe's largest private contributor to R&D, with €44.7 billion invested annually.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €100.4 billion for the EU.