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EV sales triple in scramble to meet EU CO2 limits

Electric vehicles (EVs) are set to treble their market share in Europe this year as the result of new car CO2 targets, according to NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) . Despite COVID-19, sales of electric and hybrid vehicles have grown since January – and are expected to reach 10% of all EU vehicle sales this year and 15% in 2021.

T&E analysts examined sales data from the first half of this year, in addition to carmakers’ compliance strategies, and said that both represented ambitious regulatory work. But they also warned that there is a chance momentum in the EV market will slow due to ‘lax’ targets from 2025 and 2030.

From the levels of over 122g/km in 2019,2020 new car CO2 emissions dropped to 111 g/km in the first half of this year, the largest drop since the standards came into effect in 2008. Auto manufacturers including Volvo, BMW Group and FCA-Tesla are already complying with the EU’s target for average emissions of new cars.

Meanwhile, Renault, Nissan, the Toyota-Mazda pool and Ford have a small gap to close of 2 grams of CO2 per km. Volkswagen Group still has a 5g gap, while Daimler and Jaguar-Land Rover have more work to do, with 9g and 13g shortages, respectively. Regardless, they’ll cross the line by either selling more plug-in vehicles and/or pooling emissions with other firms.

However, the picture for the year’s European vehicle emissions is not wholly positive. Sales of SUVs crept up to almost 40% of the EU car market last year – on the back of a loophole that permits more lax CO2 targets for carmakers selling heavy vehicles. T&E also claims that half of all the electric cars sold today are ‘fake electric’ plug-in hybrids that are infrequently charged and emit 2–4 times more CO2 in the real world than in the laboratory environment.

‘The electric car is finally entering the mainstream in Europe, but SUV sales are still growing like weeds,’ said Julia Poliscanova, Senior Director for clean vehicles at T&E. ‘The only way to kill off highly-polluting vehicles is to give carmakers a clear end date now. Cars that run on biofuels, fake electric engines or fossil gas emit CO2 and shouldn’t be allowed on the market after 2035.’

News Item details

Journal title: Energy World

Organisation: T&E

Subjects: Electric vehicles - Metering, monitoring and targeting - Hybrid vehicles - Road transport -

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