Non-government organisation, Transport & Environment, says moving European CO2 emissions levels to 70g by 2025 would drive increased use of electric vehicles.

Speaking at this week's Automotive News Europe Congress in Paris, Transport & Environment clean vehicles programme manager, Greg Archer, said the goal to lower CO2 emissions should be a key aim of the European Union (EU).

"The EU should really be proposing a long-term 2025 target for CO2, so investors can invest with certainty," said Archer. "70g in 2025 will drive penetration of electric vehicles into the market - 60g would drive a great deal more.

"Engineers exaggerate the cost of bringing down CO2. Smart regulation of vehicles lowers the societal cost and investment will increase the competitiveness of the industry in the long term.

"If you set long-term targets in Europe, the industry will continue to grow and thrive."

Archer insisted the current high cost of electric vehicles would gradually reduce as more competition in the sector drove manufacturing efficiency, although he conceded this would take time.

"The price of EVs will come down," said Archer. "There will be real competition in the market, but that is not going to happen overnight and it certainly won't happen for 2020.

"There has been over-hype of what EVs can deliver in the short term, but that is not to underestimate what they can deliver in the long term."

Speaking at the same event in the French capital, European automotive supplier body, CLEPA, preferred to stick to a slightly higher CO2 emissions figure of 95g.

"Our firm position on CO2 is that 95g in 2020 is feasible at an affordable cost," CLEPA CEO, Jean-Marc Gales, told the conference.