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The European Union has just announced that it wants to improve emissions by 20% in 2015, and to achieve that goal, it is tightening emission regulations starting from 2012.
As of January 1st, all automobile manufacturer’s who produce more than 10,000 vehicles per-year, will need to sell 65% of their annual sales of cars that produce less than 130-grams of Co2/kilometer (0.621-miles).
Automakers who cannot comply with this regulation will pay a fine of $6.50 per-gram for each car that is over. This could add to millions by the end of the year, making survival in the auto industry even tougher than before.
Renault’s Romanian brand Dacia will be in trouble with these new regulations in 2012, and Daimler is expected to be in even more trouble, as it would have to pay a fine of $2500 per vehicle.
Not all car companies will be in trouble however. Toyota, Peugeot and Fiat produce vehicles that produce between 112 to 119 grams/km.
While this regulation favors companies that produce small cars, those who produce large SUV’s will either have to cut production or start offering a small commuter car to bring their average down.
[Source: Left Lane News]
Along with things like baseball and celebrities, America is known for its cars. It might surprise you to learn then that in a newly compiled list of the top auto-producing nations, the U.S. of A. doesn’t place very highly. In fact, according to the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association of a total 58,478,810 cars produced last year the U.S. ranks just 7th, responsible for assembling some 1.2 million cars.
As for the top spot, it might not surprise you to learn that the world’s most populous nation, China, ranks first, churning out some 13.9 million vehicles. In second place is Japan (8.3 million), then South Korea, Brazil and India.
If the European Union member states were to rate as a single country however, then they would finish in the top spot. Last year more than 15 million plus units, were produced in the EU.
Given this rather bizarre and perhaps biased survey (the list only includes cars, and not trucks, which America produces plenty of) it begs the question, with Europe currently in the economic doldrums and experiencing near record unemployment in some member states, who in the heck is buying all these cars?
[Source: Woman on Wheels]
Given the current financial struggles plaguing many of the European Union member states, legislators are paying closer attention to aid granted for various programs. In the case of Germany, EU investigators have opened a probe regarding state funding supplied to automakers BMW and Volkswagen.
The former concerns aid of some EUR 46 million, granted to BMW for investment in its Leipzig, Saxony manufacturing facility (shown) where the company plans to produce Electric Vehicles.
In the case of Volkswagen, a grant of some EUR 83.7 million aimed at that company’s manufacturing facility in Zwickau, is under scrutiny.
In an official line from Brussels, the European Commission has stated, in relation to the funding that it “has doubts whether Germany’s suggestions for the definition of the relevant market… can be accepted.”
[Source: Just Auto]
Quick, name the European car company that’s made the most progress in reducing their emissions. Peugeot? Smart? Even Dacia? If you had bet on Ferrari, the poster child for irresponsible motoring, you’d have won big.
Among luxury and supercar makers, Ferrari has made the most strides in reducing their CO2 emissions, according to recently-released figures. Their average emissions in 2010 across their model lineup was 326 grams per kilometer, a 46 g/km reduction from the previous year. This 12 percent reduction was better than the efforts from Aston Martin, Bentley, and Lamborghini, who could only manage paltry 0.6%, 1.9% and 1.5% reductions respectively. Lotus managed a reduction of 3.2%, coming in second.
The one car that Ferrari can bestow this success to is the California. At 46% of Ferrari’s sales last year, its CO2 emissions are at 301 g/km. As manufacturer emissions are calculated from the sales figures of individual cars, the California’s success helped boost Ferrari’s eco-cred above the rest.
Anbd to be fair, Ferrari is a company whose products aren’t already known for their frugality. The figures did pertain to high-end carmakers; don’t expect Ferrari to build their version of an Aston Martin Cygnet yet. But by 2015, the EU will start fining carmakers for missing their emissions targets: at five euros per car that misses their goals, fines could run into the millions. Even for a low-production company like Ferrari—and we know how they love their “exclusive” production figures—it could be bad for business.
Recently, the E.U. (European Union) announced plans to ban petrol and diesel powered vehicles from city centers by 2050 in the interest to improve air quality, while also reducing dependence on fossil fueled vehicles. However, U.K. (United Kingdom) is not on board with this idea.
U.K’s Transport minister Norman Baker says these choices should be made by individual cities, based on their needs and agenda, and not as a collective agreement. He added by saying, “We will not be banning cars from city centers anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas.”
The E.U. wants to reduce traffic and smog in city centers and are even looking to expand their plans to encourage rail travel over distances over 186-miles and hopes to cut emissions by 60% by 2050.
The U.K. wants to do things their own way by “decarbonising road transport by, for example, investing more than £400m over the next four years to support electric vehicles and promoting alternatives to car travel like walking and cycling,” said Baker.
For the fourth year in a row, the overall Fiat brand has produced the lowest CO2 emissions in Europe, a continent that actually pays attention to CO2 emissions figures.
The brand’s average, 123.1 grams per kilometer, dropped 4.7g from last year. And from the past four years the company’s CO2 emissions have dropped 10 percent, from 137.3g/km in 2007. In comparison, the European Union’s target for emissions is 130g/km by 2015.
Fiat chalks these figures up to its TwinAir engine, which they call “the world’s most ‘ecological’ turbo,” whatever that means. In America, their success translates to the Multiair fuel delivery system found in Fiat 500 engines, which the manufacturer claims to increase fuel economy and reduce emissions both by 10 percent without any loss of horsepower.
They’ve been mandated in the U.S. since 2007, but now, thanks to a pending EU ruling, tire pressure monitoring systems are set to become mandated equipment on vehicles in Europe from November 2011. However, the announcement has resulted in a backlash, from auto manufacturers and also groups such as the AA (Automobile Association) who believe TPMS systems are unnecessarily costly and don’t really present a worthwhile solution. At present a number of vehicles on sale in Europe are available with TPMS systems, but so far, based on market research, there appears to be only small numbers of customers opting for them.
According to a spokesperson from Vauxhall, GM’s British arm, “we’ve only had a tiny uptake – people don’t attach a great deal of importance to this.” At Hyundai, similar sentiments were echoed. ”[TPMS] is a relatively costly thing and we have to pass that on to the consumer. There is a safety aspect and we appreciate that, but we don’t think it’s needed.” The AA’s Vanessa Guyll, declared that while TPMS sytems are “good in principle, they’re not a replacement for checking your tires – they don’t catch problems such as uneven wear and bulges.”