Alternative Fuels Australia

Australia may lose out in European car battle

Posted by Car Geek on September 14, 2007

Arguments between European car manufacturers and the European Union could result in further delaying imports of cleaner cars into Australia, including a variety of “clean diesel” vehicles.

The European Union has set a vehicle emissions target of 130 g of CO2 per km for its manufacturers by 2012, but auto makers says it’s “not feasible” and would add A$4100 to the cost of every car, potentially forcing them to move production outside of the Union. Adding to this potential delay is the reluctance of the European auto industry to import its clean diesel vehicles to Australia, where the quality of diesel is less of that in Europe. Australian diesel still has a relatively high level of sulfur, though this will drop from January 1, 2009 from 50 parts per million to 10 parts per million, in line with the upcoming Euro V regulations.

Speaking at the Frankfurt auto show, Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne said that car makers supported the EU legislation, but needed more time to achieve the targets. “Lead time is a common practice around the world. The Government of Japan agreed on new CO2 requirements with the car industry last year which will result in average emissions of 138 grams of CO2 per kilometre from 2015,” he said.

“The best solution to reduce CO2 emissions from cars and to safeguard jobs and investments in Europe is an integrated approach, combining further improvements in vehicle technology, an increased use of alternative fuels, improved infrastructure and traffic management, a more economic driving style and harmonised CO2-related taxation.

“This requires a partnership involving the automotive industry, the fuel industry, policy makers at all EU government levels and consumers.”

(Source: The Age)

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2 Responses to “Australia may lose out in European car battle”

  1. karan said

    they doth protesteth too much, perhaps – every time these kind of things, they end up hitting the targets shortly after.

  2. Nathan said

    You only need to look to the US to see that the auto makers tend to exaggerate their claims slightly. Hopefully the threat of legislation will be enough to help them clean up their act (which, judging by the variety of cleaner cars at the Frankfurt show, it should be) and they and the EU can reach a compromise.

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