Currently, there are two European Union Regulations which specify targets for the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions performance of new light duty vehicles; EC Regulation No. 443/2009 covering passenger cars (i.e. M1 category vehicles) and EU Regulation No. 510/2011 covering light commercial vehicles with a GVW not exceeding 3500 kg (i.e. N1 category vehicles). Both of these Regulations specify mandatory CO2 emissions targets for the vehicles within their scope; 130 g/km phased in between 2012 and 2015 for passenger cars and 175 g/km phased in between 2014 and 2017 for light commercial vehicles. In addition, both Regulations specify "long term" CO2 emissions targets of 95 g/km by 2020 and 147 g/km by 2020 respectively. However, both Regulations specify that, by 1st January 2013, the European Commission must review the feasibility of these targets and confirm the modalities (i.e. the implementing measures) for their introduction.
The relevant feasibility studies have now been completed and, on 11th July 2012, the European Commission published two proposed Regulations confirming the "long term" CO2 emissions targets for passenger cars and for light commercial vehicles and specifying the modalities for their implementation.
With regard to the "modalities" for the implementation of these "long term" targets, both of the proposed Regulations:
- Clarify that the "long term" targets relate to CO2 emissions measured according to the test procedures specified within (EC) No. 715/2007 on light duty vehicle emissions.
- Confirm that, when the test procedures specified within (EC) No. 715/2007 are amended (i.e. to introduce the World Light Duty Test Procedure), the CO2 emissions targets will be adjusted to ensure comparable stringency.
- Confirm that vehicle mass in running order will continue to be used as the parameter to determine specific CO2 emissions targets for the application of the "long term" target.
- Introduce formulae for calculating specific CO2 emissions targets for the application of the "long term" target which follow the same pattern as those currently specified.
- Maintain the Excess Emissions Premium at the level of €95 per g/km per vehicle.
- Introduce a new exemption to exclude vehicle manufacturers responsible for the annual registration of less than 500 vehicles from the scope of the Regulation.
- Simplify the derogation application procedure for small volume manufacturers.
- Introduce a revised "long term" CO2 emissions reduction target for niche vehicle manufacturers (passenger car proposal only).
- Introduce "super credits" for passenger cars with CO2 emissions of less than 35 g/km. Such passenger cars will be counted as 1.3 passenger cars during the period from 2020 to 2023, subject to a maximum cumulative total of 20,000 passenger cars per manufacturer (passenger car proposal only).
Both proposed Regulations also introduce a clause requiring the European Commission to carry out a review and establish CO2 emissions targets for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles for the period beyond 2020 by 31st December 2014.