One of the reasons that automakers are working so diligently on making more fuel efficient vehicles is because we're forcing them to. We, through our elected officials, have set certain standards that they have to meet in order to sell their wares. One of the strongest is the CO2 emissions limits set by the European Commission in 2008: 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer by 2015. The bad news? The EC might be backpedaling.

According to Reuters, the EC might allow the rules to expand a bit to take things other than a car's simple emissions number into account. Those things include "infrastructure, driver behaviour and other measures," and the idea comes from documents written up by policy group CARS 21. No, we're not sure what infrastructure means in this situation either, but the documents should be released tomorrow. CARS 21 includes members of various EU governing bodies as well as auto executives and trade union representatives.

130 grams of CO2 per kilometer is roughly equivalent to 43.5 miles per U.S. gallon in a gasoline car and 48.3 mpg using diesel. So, those are the targets the automakers say they can't hit, even though they had over six years to get ready.


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  • 17 Comments
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Months Ago
      I think that the case for global warming has been weakening lately. We still need to stop using an increasingly finite resource at such a high rate however. Think about it like this... in about 150 years, we would have used up millions of years of stored energy. That is a shame. It is going to hurt when we run out and don't come up with a suitable replacement in time. We need to conserve so that our children and children's children do not live in a real life version of the movie, mad max. There are plenty of reasons to slow our consumption.
        Spec
        • 2 Months Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        Oh, the scientific case is very strong. But people just don't give a crap about what happens 200 years from now, they'll be long dead. The near-term effects of climate change are not going to be huge, so people just ignore it.
          marcopolo
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Spec
          Spec Partly, you are correct, the scientific case is very strong. However, Joe Public has grown weary of the rhetoric, hysterical scare-mongering and fanaticism of the extremists within the environmental movement. Much of the crazier elements are just the old socialist left seeking a new guise as 'green'. It's unfortunate, but natural, in difficult economic times for the Joe Public to loss interest in Climate change, after witnessing confused and often disastrous policies pursued by governments, in the name of global warming. The science may have reached consensus but extremists only shout louder, and listen less, to the opinion of the general public, who finally react by turning away from the whole issue and ignore, if not reject, the science. Very unfortunate for those in the worthwhile new 'green' technologies.
          marcopolo
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Spec
          @ Spec, Yes, sadly you are quite correct. The scientific aspects and perspectives of climate change/ global warming got completely swept away by the politics and the empire building tactics employed by all sides. As a result, Joe Public got sick of the rhetoric and tuned out. I fear the result of all the activism and dissension will be future generations, if I may mix analogies, will, 'Inherit Only The Wind.! ' (great movie). " We can't even get people to believe in evolution", ! I always thought that anti-evolutionists were confined to the more poverty stricken sections of the US and TV Evangelists But I attended a dinner recently at the family home of a cultured and well educated American banker from Baltimore. I was astonished to learn that the school chosen for their children to attend, teaches 'creative design' as an alternative science ! It startled me because my hosts younger brother attended the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine with my younger son, while the banker and his wife are both graduate lawyers/economists from Ivy league schools. I was amazed that creationism is so active in the areas of the US, not normally associated with such beliefs.
          Spec
          • 2 Months Ago
          @Spec
          The crazier elements are people with a lot of environmental heart but not a strong grasp of the science. Much of what some people call 'hysterical scare-mongering' is just people misinterpreting the findings. The worst sea level rise predictions are like 1 meter over a 100 year time period. But the effects are very real but slow & long term. It is hard to get people to understand it, believe it, and care about it. We can't even get people to believe in evolution and we have 200 years of solid evidence for it and nothing that disproves it. The real sad thing now are all the people that think climate science is just some big hoax invented in order to get government control to do some wealth transfer to poor countries. The real ironic thing about that is the status quo is to transfer wealth from western nations to countries that have oil. That trade imbalance largely from oil is really hurting us.
      transpower
      • 2 Months Ago
      CO2 is not a pollutant; it's a plant nutrient!
        Rob J
        • 2 Months Ago
        @transpower
        So is sulfur and chlorine.
        lne937s
        • 2 Months Ago
        @transpower
        CO2 is a pollutant in high enough quantities. It is also poisonous to human's (i.e. Hypercapnia) in high enough quantities. You can actually have much higher ppm of alcohol in your blood than you can CO2. Submarines need chimical scrubbers to remove CO2. Look up "exploding lakes". Manure, which is also excreted by animals, is also plant food... providing nutrients like nitrogen. But it is also a pollutant if it is in your drinking water. Too much of it is a pollutant in streams, causing algae blooms, depriving oxygen, killing fish. Chemical fertilizers are plant food also, but when they run off the fields they become pollutants, leading to dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico larger than the state of Connecticut. Likewise, most of the minerals and vitamins you need to survive can kill you in high enough quantities. If adding more of something to an environment causes more damage than good, it is a pollutant. It makes no difference if small quantities of that substance are beneficial. Adding more CO2 to the environment is harmful, and therefore CO2 is a pollutant.
        krona2k
        • 2 Months Ago
        @transpower
        Water is essential for life but I guess you don't want to try living underwater? What's your point?
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Months Ago
        @transpower
        Ahhh, this is a classic troll right here.. I for one am tired of hacking away at all sorts of flora and fauna growing inside my car's exhaust system, aren't you?
        marcopolo
        • 2 Months Ago
        @transpower
        @transpower You are quite right ! But, unfortunately the rest of us are Fauna not flora, so for us it's totally pollutant ! Trolls, being a mineral based life form, are pretty impervious to CO2, but it's nice to see you tending to the needs of your lichen......
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Months Ago
        @transpower
        CO2 is classified as a pollutant by the US EPA. They found that it "...threaten(s) the public health and welfare of current and future generations." http://epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment.html
      Rick
      • 2 Months Ago
      Who cares what they do, the greener a car becomes the more they tax the older green car versions within a year. Whats the point of buying an expensive green car, absolutely no point at all. DAILY MAIL.. New stealth tax attack on drivers of the greenest cars: AA warns motorists to brace themselves for more pain Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2152516/New-stealth-tax-attack-drivers-greenest-cars-AA-warns-motorists-brace-pain.html#ixzz1x7w4K6K9
      Ryan
      • 2 Months Ago
      They are numbers that the oil companies don't want them to hit. We could easily hit those numbers with the technology we have today. Add in some lighter weight materials and aerodynamic shape and ti could easily reach those numbers.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Months Ago
        @Ryan
        Smaller cars already hit them. All that they would need to do is change their product mix.
          Rob J
          • 2 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Or, you know, drive less.
          sandos
          • 2 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Yeah, its funny because in Sweden last month 43,9% of new cars sold were below 120g/km. Also, 67% diesels. This likely also explains why only 148 "super-green cars" (
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