The development of greener cars could create over 100,000 new manufacturing jobs across Europe, a new report from sustainable transport campaign group, Transport & Environment (T&E) suggests.
Conducted by Dutch consultancy CE Delft, the new ‘Low Carbon Vehicles: Good for EU Employment’ report goes someway to dismiss the auto industry’s claims that reducing CO2 emissions from cars would have a negative impact on automotive jobs and competitiveness in Europe.
It also highlights how the money saved through using less fuel would increases consumers’ disposable income, which in turn creates extra jobs across the EU economy.
In 2009, legislation was adopted that requires cars sold in Europe to emit an average of 130g CO2/km by 2015 and 95g by 2020. In July 2012, the Commission proposed to confirm the 95g target for 2020, which it estimates would boost the EU economy by an average €12bn per year between 2020-2030.
For drivers, a target of 95g would provide annual fuel savings of over €500, the research suggests. These savings are forecasted to be much greater than the additional costs of buying a more fuel efficient car, enabling drivers to recover their costs in 1.5 to 2.5 years. More importantly, the savings would rise to over €750 per year and still payback in around three years if a more ambitious target (80g/km) was adopted. Since Europe would also import less oil, it would also increase resiliency to oil price shocks and improve the balance of trade.
T&E’s programme manager Greg Archer explains: “The US recently announced its plans to double fuel economy by 2025. In Europe, the planned improvement is around a third; that’s good, but not good enough. Without tougher CO2 targets, European carmakers risk losing their competitive edge in the global markets.”
"We want a 2020 target of 80g/km and 60g/km by 2025. This would drive advanced technologies into the market and ensure Europe retains its leadership”, Archer concludes.
T&E also attacks the flexibilities in the proposal which would reduce the benefits of new fuel economy standards. The EC proposal extends to 2023 the system of over-rewarding sales of electric vehicles, known as “supercredits”, which weaken the actual CO2 target.
“Supercredits reward manufacturers for selling imaginary vehicles. They create the illusion fuel economy is improving whilst actually allowing carmakers to sell gas-guzzlers that don’t count towards their target; this is madness!” Archer says.
Faye has been writing about cars and environmental issues since 2007. A suspected eco-warrior working on the corporate inside, Faye mainly likes the weird, quirky vehicles that show a distinct environmental advantage. Her ideal car has enough room to fit a bale of hay in the boot. When not working, she likes nothing better than to head out on her bicycle and explore the countryside.
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