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Groups fight automaker claims that fuel efficient cars cost more

There have been unfavorable claims being made by the auto industry. Some are saying that if improvements are made to cars to make them more efficient as far as staying below mandatory emissions levels, then the cars would become unaffordable.
Posted: September 30, 2011 - 10:36AM
Author: KC Kelly

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However, these claims are not true, according to reports. Manufacturers have already reached emissions levels of 140g CO2/km, despite the previous accusations. The claims by the auto industry that mandatory efficiency targets would make cars more expensive and less affordable for consumers have been proved as untrue by statistical figures taken from 2010's new cars. The statistics say that as a mean, the new cars of 2010 were efficient and emitted less CO2 than a year before, in 2009. Environmentalists and environmental groups are on board with these positive claims.

One such eco-friendly and popular group, The Transport & Environment group, put out a new report that says that the average car sold in Europe showed dramatic changes from 2009 to 2010. These cars last year were four percent more fuel efficient, emitted four per cent less CO2, and were still 2.5 per cent cheaper in real terms than in 2009. This decidedly so squashes the negative claims that car makers are making.

As of right now, car makers are only seven per cent off the individual targets they are required to meet by 2015. Overall, cars from Europe averaged emissions of 140g CO2/km and are rapidly closing in on the EU target of cutting average emissions from new cars to 130g CO2/km by 2015. FIAT and Toyota are already below the 130g CO2/km. FIAT is within five per cent and Toyota is within one per cent of their EU targets.

The Transport & Environment group has consistently been displeased with car manufacturers and have even accused them of overestimating the actual impact of the emissions standards on costs. They have spoken out and have even made a strong note that eight of Europe's 15 largest manufacturers have reached, or moved beyond, the 140g CO2/km mark without noticeable price increases.

Jos Dings, the director of Transport & Environment, made this statement, “The car industry has consistently resisted fuel-efficiency regulations by complaining that cars would become unaffordable. But car emissions have now dropped to 140g CO2/km and that simply hasn't happened; prices have actually fallen in real terms. Clearly, the EU needs to learn lessons from this. When it comes to future targets to improve fuel efficiency, industry cost estimates should be taken with an SUV-sized pinch of salt."

A Greenpeace campaigner Emma Gibson made this statement, “For years [VW lobbyists] claimed the 2015 fuel-efficiency target would threaten the industry and be impossible to meet, but now we see they overestimated the costs and, in fact, have been able to make their cars cleaner and cheaper at the same time. The report shows how much better VW can do when it puts its engineering genius to work. Its lobbyists should get out of the way, support strong 2020 targets and let the engineers do what they can to make VW cars as clean as they could be."

Reference: Theguardian

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