New agreements among European political institutions on emissions targets for vans could actually hold back investment in future clean technologies unless they are financially supported , the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is warning.
It says the provisional agreement for a ‘very ambitious’ target of 147g/km CO2 by 2020 will force the use of hybrid technologies, but the economic climate and poor van sales across continental Europe mean it is difficult to invest the necessary cash up front.
The ACEA says the lower production volumes for vans also does not allow for the same economies of scale as for cars, while the diversity of the sector means there are few technologies which would suit.
“In this context, super-credits provide concrete incentives for manufacturers to invest billions of euros in ultra low-emission vans, despite there being extremely low consumer demand for these at the moment,” stated ACEA Secretary General Ivan Hodac.
According to the European Environment Agency, says ACEA, only 1% of vans sold last year were liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas, and just 0.5% were electric.
Hodac said, “Super-credits are one of the only EU-wide support mechanisms for innovative, clean technologies. If they are removed from the package, Europe will become one of the only major vehicle-producing regions with extremely limited incentive schemes for fuel-efficient vehicles.
“This will clearly put us at a strong disadvantage on the global market.”
The compromise decision still needs approval from the member states and from the European Parliament.