Europe: New vehicles must cut carbon emissions by a third – European Commission doc image

According to some leaked documents seen by news agency Reuters suggest the European Commission will propose a 2020 goal to lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to an average of 95 grams per kilometre (g/km).

A tighter target of 80g CO2 by 2020 would not only ensure that European are fitted with more advanced fuel saving technologies but would help European motorists save more than €150 extra a year, above the €500 per year in fuel expected from the current target proposal.

But the Commission has not decided whether to make the target binding, and there are calls for the target to be even stiffer in order to save drivers even more on fuel costs.

Currently, manufacturers have to reach a binding target of 130gm CO2/km by 2015, which they are on target to attain. Fines for failure are presently €95 for every gram over the target per vehicle and these would be kept at the same level in the future.

The document is due to be published in July and approved by the European Parliament and Council of Europe over the next year.

New car registrations in Europe are forecast to fall by 7% in 2012, and Volkswagen was the only major manufacturer in Europe that did not lose money in 2011.

“Regulation, rigid by nature, too often adds undue complexity and costs, or limits flexibility,” said ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, in a statement calling for “smarter” regulation.