The European Automobile Manufacturers Association, Acea, has agreed on the general framework and basic principles that should apply to the new European Union (EU)  policy to further reduce carbon emissions from cars, of which the European Commission (EC) is currently drafting a proposal, but reiterated that the commission’s proposed target of 130 grammes CO2 per kilometre by 2012 is not feasible.

The details of a possible legislative framework will be subject to further discussions in the months ahead, ACEA said in a statement after its regular board meeting on Friday. The board consists of all 13 member automakers’ CEOs.

“Defining the right policy is a long process and needs thorough assessment and consideration,” said ACEA president and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne.

Furthermore, the vehicle industry needs appropriate lead-time ahead of a legislative framework because of long development and manufacturing cycles.

“The European manufacturers operate in a fiercely competitive environment. Their investment and innovation capacity should not be crippled. The first feasible date for implementation of new legal requirements is 2015”, said Marchionne.

ACEA members will increasingly implement CO2-cutting technology such as gear-shift indicators, tyre pressure monitors, efficient air-conditioning and light-weight car parts to ensure a steady further carbon reduction in the coming decade.

Within a future policy framework, cars should stay accessible to consumers to ensure fleet renewal. The effect of possible legislation should be neutral as far as competition between manufacturers is concerned. CO2 reductions from cars should be related to the differentiation in the car portfolio of the EU manufacturers, with weight as the most suitable parameter.

And manufacturers should be able to average the CO2 performance of their fleet.

The board confirmed its determination to reach a realistic and cost-effective agreement with the EU institutions regarding a policy framework to further reduce carbon emissions from cars. The majority of carbon emissions from cars is caused today by the existing and ageing car fleet, by growing congestion and increasing mileage, it said.

“Emissions from new cars have significantly decreased over the past decade. Therefore, the automotive industry urges the EU institutions to adopt a fully integrated approach to ensure larger, cost-effective reductions in CO2 emissions from cars,” the statement said.

“The European automobile manufacturers share an unwavering commitment to further reduce CO2 emissions from cars and stress this requires a substantial effort from all relevant actors involved: the fuel industry, policy makers, drivers and the automotive industry.

“Such an approach would combine the ongoing improvements in vehicle technology with a larger use of biofuels, infrastructure adjustments and implementation of traffic management, CO2-related taxation of both cars and alternative fuels, and the adoption of a more economic driving style by consumers.

“All policy elements should be included and their contributions should be allocated in a fair and adequate way, to the benefit of the environment and the EU economy.”

The ACEA members are BMW Group, DAF Trucks, DaimlerChrysler, FIAT, Ford of Europe, General Motors Europe, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, Porsche, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault, Scania, Volkswagen and Volvo.