On November 8, the European Commission proposed a new set of emissions standards for vehicles, starting in 2030.  The standards include a further 30% CO2 emissions reduction for new cars and vans, on top of the standards in place for 2021. These targets are proposed within the European Union’s 2030 climate and energy framework, adopted in October 2014, with an overall push to hit at least 40% cuts in European Union Greenhouse Gas emissions compared to the levels in 1990.

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) issued a statement welcoming “the fact that new targets [have] been set for 2030”.  However, the ACEA expressed concern with setting additional targets in 2025, stating it is not sufficient time to permit changes in vehicle technology and design.  The ACEA also asserted that the 30% reduction level is “overly challenging.” Automakers have instead lobbied for a 20% reduction target.

Although the ACEA criticized the proposal as too ambitious, others say it doesn’t go far enough.  Environmental groups pushed for quotas for how many zero emission electric vehicles automakers must sell.  Instead of setting quotes, the Commission’s proposal includes a framework for zero- and low-emissions vehicle incentives to manufacturers.  Specifically, the framework includes credits for electric vehicles and low emission vehicles to allow automakers to offset their overall emissions targets if their production of zero- and low-emissions vehicles exceed regulatory benchmarks.

The proposal is not yet law, and the European Union members and European Parliament will now need to weigh in on the proposal.