Study: Automakers Can Only Achieve Climate Goals Through Backdoor – Economy

What climate protection is all about and how exhausting the fight for improvements is has probably been most clearly shown by Briton Alok Sharma this weekend. The president of the World Climate Conference in Glasgow broke down in tears at the end of the long days: there was a negotiating result, he said, but it was not as specific as needed to control global warming and its effects on the world. He must apologize for this.

But it’s not just the current coal-fired power generation in developing countries that threatens the fight against global warming. The switch to electromobility in the European Union also risks being kidnapped, warns the Transport and Environment (T&E) organization, which brings together dozens of European environmental and mobility associations. “Daimler, Volkswagen AG and BMW present themselves as environmentally friendly, but behind this facade they are using every little flaw to delay the shift to emission-free vehicles,” explains Stef Cornelis, director of T&E Germany. If the applicable EU rules weren’t so weak, automakers would actually have to sell an additional 840,000 electric vehicles this year – at the expense of combustion vehicles, according to a T&E analysis the Süddeutsche Zeitung received in advance.

Cars are currently responsible for 13 percent of all carbon dioxide emissions in the European Union and emissions should be reduced: an industry-wide target of 95 grams of CO₂ per kilometer and vehicle is currently in place, which corresponds to 3.6 liters of diesel or 4.1 liters of gasoline. According to T&E, the figures for the first half show that German manufacturers have admittedly met and even exceeded the limit values, also because sales of CO₂-free electric cars have increased significantly – only the VW group with all its brands is still in business. difficulty. But supposed successes are often only possible through back doors that make the situation look good, T&E criticizes. The criticism: plug-in hybrids, that is, cars that can also run a little with an electric motor, and special rules for heavy cars.

Vehicles in the EU averaged 1,380 kilograms when the rule was enacted. But for every 100 kilograms more, there is currently a bonus of 3.3 grams of CO₂ per kilometer. At BMW, for example, the last CO₂ fleet target was 104 grams – they hit 99. But that was only possible because the many sales of plug-in hybrids were also highly regarded, according to T&E: on paper, they consume a lot less gasoline and diesel and are even more weighted in the calculation of the limit value of the fleet. But in fact, such hybrid vehicles are at least twice as dirty as in theory, because users switch to combustion engines too often. If these and other “loopholes” were closed, which masked more than ten percent of the CO₂ value, then, by T&E calculations, BMW and Daimler would exceed the limit.

The obstacles are increasing, but not enough, according to T&E. The organization is also calling for the removal of all bonuses, so that the pressure to build and sell pure electric cars increases. The traffic light parties are also expected to advocate for this in their coalition agreement, as well as for the end of combustion engines in the EU by 2035. Meanwhile, from the industry it is said: With the hybrid drives, it depends on the users and the charging infrastructure. . The weight bonus is there because the effort involved is more and, like the hybrid bonus, would melt away anyway. Incidentally, they are well on schedule – albeit with different omens. BMW, for example, has said it will be ready for a full burnout from 2030, although that is not necessarily a good idea. Daimler, on the other hand, explicitly wants to sell only electric cars from 2030 – and recently signed a corresponding statement in Glasgow.

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