Volkswagen & Shell have both been accused of attempting to block the EU’s push for more efficient cars & electric cars, by stating that biofuels should be at the heart of efforts to try to green the industry.
Europe plans to set two new fuel efficiency targets for 2025 & 2030 respectively, to meet promises made in December 2015 at the Paris Climate Summit.
Executives from both companies released a study suggesting the greater use of biofuels & the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS) instead.
Volkswagen’s new head of research & development Ulrich Eichhorn, said that plug-in hybrids were “building blocks for the future”, but that “higher shares” for biofuels would be needed in the meantime.
Announcing to a meeting in Brussels he stated: “Modern diesel & natural gas engines will absolutely be required to deliver CO2 targets until 2020 & they will also contribute to further reductions going on from there.”
With regards to meeting the goals set out in Paris he stated, “Societal costs need to be minimised to keep our industrial strength & competitiveness.”
Campaigners have pointed out that signs of an electric vehicle take-off helped by a bid by the Dutch parliament to ban petrol & diesel engines by 2025, as well as 400,000 pre-orders for the new Model 3 Tesla. Germany has also promised a €1bn subsidy boost for electric cars.
Road transport currently makes up a fifth or all of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions. The EU has set a target reduction of 60% set for 2050 (measured against 1990 levels). By 2021, all new cars must emit no more than 95 grams of CO2 per km.
Carlos Calvo Ambel, an analyst for the Transport & Environment think tank, has stated that Europe would miss its greenhouse gas targets altogether if it followed the Auto Fuels Coalition paper’s advice.
A spokesman for Shell said: “Nothing in the report can be interpreted as seeking to block electric vehicles.”