Car manufacturers to ‘monitor’ drivers behaviour to set personal CO2 tax

By Matt Burt

The European Union could relax the way CO2 emissions targets for car makers are measured if proposals put forward in a new report are adopted.

According to German newspaper Die Welt, EU Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani and Fiat’s Sergio Marchionne – who is also head of European car industry association ACEA – are to present a report recommending a change in the way measurements are made.

German car makers have long been pushing for more flexibility in the way that the EU measures the progress they are making in cutting CO2 emissions. The brands want factors such as driver behaviour and national infrastructure to be taken into account, rather than simply tailpipe emissions from new cars.

There is also concern among car makers that the stringent targets that are currently in place are pushing up research and development costs and rendering their vehicles less competitive in price against overseas opposition, a factor that is accentuated by the difficult economic climate.

Car manufacturers are supposed to meet an average of 130g/km across their model ranges by 2015, or face financial penalties. A further target of 95g/km by 2020 is expected to be rubber-stamped by the EU in July.

Tajani will present the report in a meeting of the CARS 21 High Level Group, a body of key car industry figures and politicians over which he will preside.

Another likely topic on the meeting’s agenda is overcapacity, a problem that has prompted the likes of Fiat boss Marchionne to call on the EU to offer help in rationalising the industry.