Facing growing concerns about air quality, global warming and long-term energy supplies, European regulators have begun to debate the possibility of sharply tightening already-strict vehicles emissions standards – but senior automotive executives gathered for this year’s Paris Motor Show are warning such a move could be “fatal” for the auto industry.
Manufacturers say they could, in fact, meet the rules some clean air advocates have been proposing. At least from a technical standpoint, but the cost could be substantial, especially for smaller carmakers, they warn. And of equal concern, industry leaders question whether consumers would be willing to accept the potential compromises or pay the higher prices they’d almost certainly face.
Europe already has enacted some of the world’s toughest clean air standards. Unlike the United States, which focuses on fuel economy, the EU has been targeting carbon dioxide emissions in an effort to reduce global warming. The current standard will be cut by about a quarter, to a mere 95 grams of carbon dioxide for every kilometer of driving by 2021, roughly equivalent to what a car meeting Americas 54.5 mpg fuel economy standard would have to meet in 2025. (more…)