German car fleet hits horsepower record, challenging EU emission limits
German drivers are choosing cars with more and more horsepower, which poses a challenge for carmakers who must comply with EU emissions regulations, Olaf Preuß writes in the newspaper Die Welt. A survey by the CAR Center for Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen found that the average horsepower of new car registrations in Germany hit a record high in 2019 – and that trend shows no sign of changing, Preuß writes. The increase is driven by the popularity of SUVs, but also by diesel vehicles and plug-in hybrids.
More horsepower also means more fuel consumption and higher emissions, and that’s a challenge for automakers, who must comply with EU climate targets, Preuß reports. "The sharply rising horsepower figures show a risk potential for German automakers," Ferdinand Dudenhöffer of the CAR Center told Die Welt. "A strategy to limit these risks is not yet apparent here."
Under current EU climate targets, the average vehicle fleet emissions for newly registered cars must not exceed 95 grams of CO2 per kilometre by 2021, a limit the German car industry is struggling to meet. Proposals currently in the works would lower that target to 60 grams per kilometre by 2030.