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03 Dec 2020, 13:49
Charlotte Nijhuis

German car manufacturers risk billions in EU fines due to SUV sales – Greenpeace

Clean Energy Wire

German car manufacturers are increasing CO2 emissions and risking billions in EU fines with the increasing number of SUV models, Greenpeace says in a report. According to the NGO’s evaluation of European registration figures between 2012 and 2019, German manufacturers Volkswagen (VW), Daimler and BMW would be an average of 4.5 grams closer to their CO2 fleet targets in the EU if they sold comparable non-SUV models instead of SUVs. The manufacturers could save 1.5 billion euros in potential EU fines, according to the analysis. "Those who want to sell more and more heavy gas guzzlers are blocking the switch to climate-friendly mobility and risk fines running into billions. We need a registration tax on climate-damaging SUVs,” Greenpeace traffic expert Benjamin Stephan said.

According to the ICCT registration report, Daimler is 10 grams below the fleet limit for passenger cars registered in the EU by the end of October, VW 8 grams and BMW 1 gram. Each gram over the limit and car will incur 95 euros in EU fines. If these gaps persist until the end of the year, VW would be fined a total of 2 billion euros, Daimler 680 million euros and BMW 70 million euros, according to the Greenpeace calculations.

Although the number of e-cars on German roads is on the rise, many industry representatives are cautioning against strict fleet emission rules. Referring to the debate of the new “Euro 7” emission standards currently planned by the EU, Chancellor Angela Merkel recently warned against “excessively strict exhaust regulations”  for the European car industry. She said the German government wants to advance the transition to electric mobility. "But of course we will still be dependent on combustion engines for the next years.”

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