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How EU Strives to Lower Carbon Emissions with Hybrid and Electric Cars


Electric_CarThe European Union has a goal of significantly cutting automobile carbon emissions by 2025, but without increasing the number of electric and hybrid cars on the road, that goal won’t be met.

Ricardo-AEA conducted a study that has begun a dialog about how exactly to implement and enforce vehicle emission standards that require 2020 levels of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer (g/km). Ricardo-AEA, which advises both companies and governments, examined many scenarios for 2025 in order to determine the actuality of meeting the goal.

The commission discovered that it is possible for countries across the EU to average 70 g/km if new car sales were divided between conventional cars and hybrid vehicles. Hybrid cards, which are typically slightly higher priced, now pay for their increased cost with fuel savings in less than 3 years.

The commission determined that the goal could also be met by a combination of 22% hybrid cards, 7% electric cars, and 71% conventional cars. However, in 2010, hybrid cars only accounted for 1% of car sales and electric cars only 0.1%. So, the task of increasing hybrid and electric sales is possible but daunting.

The EU has a long way to go to compete with the United States in fuel economy. Ironically, the US, known for its gas guzzling cars has set a standard for 2025 that advocates doubling the fuel economy in 2011 vehicle models and after.

A document will be available in late 2013 detailing how to lower emissions after 2020.

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