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The European Union wants to cut its CO2 emissions from cars and vans by 30 per cent between 2021 and 2030.

With a baseline figure for cars of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometre set for 2021, and 147g/km for vans, the EU could mandate a maximum of 66.5g/km and 103g/km for cars and vans respectively from 2030.

In a diesel car, 66.5g/km of CO2 translates to an average fuel consumption rating of 2.5L/100km. In a petrol-powered car, the equivalent is 2.9L/100km.

The baseline 2021 number of 95g/km works out to be 3.6L/100km in diesel cars and 4.1L/100km in petrol vehicles.


Above: A plug-in hybrid Range Rover.

An interim reduction target of 15 per cent by 2025, again from 2021 levels, is also planned to give “investments [a] kick-start”. For each vehicle sold that isn’t in compliance, car makers will be penalised 95 euros ($145) per gram over the limit.

Given the current state of play with hybrid vehicles, car manufacturers will need to see wide scale adoption of plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles.

The vast majority of these will initially be plug-in hybrids, as the Commission expects 80 per cent of new cars sold in 2030 to still feature an internal combustion engine.

According to Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, the new plan is not only part of the “fight against climate change”, but will help the EU meet its obligations under the Paris Agreement.

The Driving Clean Mobility initiative fits into the EU’s wider push to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent from 1990 levels by 2030. The EU estimates road transport accounts for 22 per cent of the bloc’s greenhouse gas output.


Above: The electric Volkswagen ID Buzz has been approved for production.

Unlike some US states and China, the EU has decided not to set quotas from zero emissions vehicles, such as pure electric cars and fuel cell vehicles, and low emissions vehicles with tailpipe CO2 emissions under 50g/km.

Instead, it has allocated 800 million euros ($1.2 billion) for electric car charging infrastructure, and a further 200 million euros ($305 million) to support battery development.

France has already proposed banning the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines by 2040, while the UK is planning to stop the sale of non-hybrid vehicles from 2040. Germany is also considering similar measures.

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