Is the Automotive Industry Able to Reach 120gCO2/km on Average on New Cars Sold by 2012 with No Regulation from the EU? Tank to Wheel Analysis of the West and East European Production from 1995 to 2005, and Prospective to 2012

Is the Automotive Industry Able to Reach 120gCO2/km on Average on New Cars Sold by 2012 with No Regulation from the EU? Tank to Wheel Analysis of the West and East European Production from 1995 to 2005, and Prospective to 2012


F Cuenot, F Papon, INRETS, FR


This article studies why CO2 emission decreased in the last 10 years in Europe. Then, using technologies market penetration & saturation models, the short-term evolution will be evaluated to see if the 2012 goal can be reached with no new EU laws.


In 1998, the European, Japanese and Korean Automobile Manufacturers Associations (ACEA, JAMA and KAMA respectively) voluntarily agreed to reduce the CO2 emission of all the vehicles sold in Europe to reach a mean emission of 140 g/km of CO2 in 2008/2009, and of 120 g/km of CO2 by 2012. Back to 1995, CO2 emissions were averaging 186 g/km of CO2. In late 2005, the average of every car sold stood at 162 g/km. The progress is clearly not fast enough, but how much can still be gained by 2012?
Analysing in detail the European automotive production (thanks to a database provided by Global Insight that includes, at powertrain-component level, all the European production), this article investigates in a first step why the CO2 emission has gone down in the last 10 years. The first part of the article focuses on the proportion of the CO2 reduction that is due to technology, and the part that is due to market distribution (through vehicle size and fuel type market shares).
In a second step, the remaining potential of progress will be estimated for various scenarios, for the whole European production, to see if the 2012 objectives can be reached with no further regulations from the EU. Market shares and future potential will also be evaluated for each of those high-efficiency technologies, to highlight which technologies have a big potential for the next generation?s automotive Internal Combustion Engines (ICE).

This study is a tank-to-wheel study, meaning biofuels are not considered to be a way to reduce CO2 emissions (as the tank-to-wheel CO2 emissions of biofuels are roughly the same as fossil fuels?CO2 emissions).

The five scenarios that are going to be studied in this article are:

- No more technology: no new technologies are entering the market, hybrids stay a niche product, Diesel technologies are not yet transferred to gasoline engines. The existing technologies are gaining market shares, dieselisation is still carrying on with high market penetration, and segmentation changes are carrying on following the past trends. This scenario is making the most of what is available now.
- Hybrid connection: the hybrids are quickly gaining market share, especially once introduced in small diesel engines in 2010. The existing technologies are also gaining market shares, and dieselisation accelerates thanks to diesel hybrids. Plug-in hybrids are still not available, due to a lack of infrastructure. The assumption made here is that the hybrid technology price would be affordable for most consumers to reach a 10 % of every diesel engine produced by 2012.
- Fuel Tax Harmonisation: No new technology emerges, and Diesel and Gasoline Tax are harmonised all across Europe, meaning Gasoline and Diesel cost the same when refuelling; Dieselisation saturates, existing diesel technologies expend to the gasoline market faster, except for first price of the vehicle range still fitted with low technology gasoline engine.
- Size does matter: In this scenario, vehicles sold by 2012 are becoming smaller and smaller, due to urbanization and space restriction. The seniors realize that small vehicles do offer the same level of comfort and convenience as big ones. This is a quick and massive shift to small vehicles. Meanwhile, the new technology introduction of the vehicle is saturating due to lack of benefit of the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs); they used to make financial margin on big vehicles.
- Target achieved: using backcasting, the authors will show what it takes to achieve the 120g/km target and its impact on market distribution and new technology introduction.

Mean CO2 emissions will be estimated in 2012 for each of those scenarios to help understand how the automotive industry is expected to evolve over the next few years. The analysis of those scenarios can give tendencies for future policies for reducing GHG emissions in the automotive sector.

This article is part of a wider prospective exercise that aims at exploring passengers? mobility at the 2050 horizon, and its impact on greenhouse gas and energy consumption. This study should lead to a PhD thesis.


Association for European Transport