We're not sure how to translate "biting the hand that feeds you" to French, but we're pretty sure the phrase is appropriate here. See, Renault recently won funding of about $28 million from the European Commission to develop diesel-hybrid powertrains for commercial vans. The thing is, the French company may now join lobbying efforts with German automakers as they ask EC officials to loosen emissions restrictions set for the end of the decade, according to Reuters.

German automakers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG have likely gotten Renault, along with fellow French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen, to sign onto an effort to make 2020 emissions requirements about 10 percent less strict than what's currently mandated. The current regulations say European automakers need to bring fleetwide emissions down about 30 percent to 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer by 2020. The Germans want to bring that number back up to 104 grams per kilometer.

Having previously supported the new mandate, French automakers, whose cars generally get better fuel economy than luxury German vehicles, may be joining up with the Germans because of existing powertrain agreements. Renault and sister company Nissan have been working on projects with Daimler since 2010, while Peugeot and BMW launched a powertrain electrification joint venture a year later. Earlier this year, BMW went on record as saying the 2020 emissions standards would be "impossible" for the automaker to meet.

Still, Renault will get 20.5 million euros (about $28 million) from the EC, including a 3.8-million-euro grant (the rest of the funds are loans), to develop a diesel-hybrid powertrain that can be used in commercial vans like Renault's Trafic and Master.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 6 Comments
      danfred311
      • 1 Month Ago
      tsk tsk tsk Carlos.
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Month Ago
      Ezee, I agree, most people, even well meaning world leaders, enthusiastically pledge support for "mom and apple pie" projects. It's only when the time comes to implement those pledges, do practical difficulties and reality become more apparent. What sounded so right, and appeared so obvious, becomes complicated with a host of unexpected complexities. Tony Blair's assessment of George W Bush was that he was very open, honest, well intentioned, straight forward, and true to his word. These are admirable trait's in a buddy, (and what we all say we want in a leader) , but in fact, Presidents must also be cunning, intelligent, duplicitous, and astute. They must be able idealistic and able to inspire, while being as ruthless and calculating as their opponents, to best serve the interests of their people. Carlos Ghosn, is a very good example of a leader with the pragmatism needed, to get things done. The Italian, German, Austrian, Czech, Spanish, Romanian, UK and Swedish automotive industries, are far from being able to comply with any more emission restrictions. Most of these countries are beginning to display a rapidly growing electoral backlash against uneconomic "green'' regulations. Ghosn understands that unless some compromises are reached allowing a more flexible agenda, those European manufacturers, feeling the pressure of PRC and Asian competition, may encourage greater political resistance to national and EU agenda's. Such an outcome would prove very harmful to Renault (and Carlos Ghosn).
      EZEE
      • 1 Month Ago
      Let me explain how all of this works. First - people like to 'pledge' to help. It's the actual helping that gets tricky. Take Africa, for instance. George W. Bush made AIDS in Africa (stopping it, not spreading it) a priority - so he leans on everyone to get them to pledge to fight against it. Pledge... So all the countries say, "yea...sure...pledge..." Then....nothing. While he was President, the USA spent more on AIDS (prevention) in Africa than the rest of the world combined. He still flies off to Africa all the time, but, that's under the radar stuff. The point is, it is easy to pledge to help, or 'get behind' something light saving the earth...but then when the time comes to actually DO SOMETHING...whoa....tricky. I suppose doing something in Syria...or against Iran is another area....whoa....syria used chemical weapons? That sucks! Wait...do something....? Anything....? Let's not be to hasty...
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Month Ago
        @EZEE
        I don't see anyone pledging help to anything. Automakers are signing onto a lobbying effort. Of course that doesn't translate into guaranteed change, as they are not empowered to change the law.
          EZEE
          • 1 Month Ago
          @Actionable Mango
          If I remember correctly, initially, the reaction way, "yay, and if you don't do this, you suck!" Now when it comes to 'doing' - uhm, oh hey look! A squirrel!
      danfred311
      • 1 Month Ago
      tsk tsk tsk Carlos.