The EU has set aggressive average CO2 emission targets for carmakers selling in Europe to hit by 2021. Some will find their targets easier to hit than others.

The EU has set aggressive average CO2 emission targets for carmakers selling in Europe to hit by 2021. Some will find their targets easier to hit than others.

Analysis undertaken by PA Consulting Group suggests that premium carmakers will struggle to hit the EU's 2021 CO2 emission targets and will therefore be faced with large fines.

Those that miss their 2021 average CO2 targets risk significant penalties - some as much as EUR1bn.

PA Consulting Group ranked the top 13 carmakers in Europe by sales, by assessing their performance against the European Union's CO2 emission targets for 2021. PA estimated the company-specific 2021 targets for the carmakers by calculating the average weight and CO2 emissions of vehicles sold between 2007 and 2013, while also factoring in the supercredits that manufacturers receive for selling electric vehicles (something that helped Renault). 

The carmakers who are struggling to achieve their individual requirements are Volkswagen, BMW, Daimler and Jaguar Land Rover, despite making reductions in emissions of 17-22%.

Carmakers are required to ensure that their new car fleet does not emit more than an average of 130 grams of CO2 per kilometre by 2015 and 95 grams by 2020-21.

For the 2021 target, the top performers - Renault, Peugeot Citroen, Fiat, Toyota and Volvo - will meet their individual requirements, PA's study suggests.

However, while overseas-based carmakers such as Hyundai, Nissan, Ford and GM are close to their specific 2021 targets, PA says they may find it difficult to make the final reductions they need to hit the exact number.

Thomas Goettle, automotive expert at PA Consulting Group says: "Our analysis shows that all car makers need to maintain a real focus on meeting their targets. They should be looking to reduce vehicle weights, developing more efficient or alternative powertrains and engines, as well as securing a bigger share of smaller, hybrid and electric vehicles in their fleet."

New testing standards could also increase pressures on carmakers, according to Goettle.

"It could be possible that the World Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) test cycle, which is designed to represent a more accurate representation of real world driving, is implemented in 2017 across all regions, adding further pressure to carmakers in Europe. If this new regulation takes effect in 2017, every carmaker will struggle with CO2 targets for 2021. The EU should implement the WLTP test cycle on a global scale post-2021 - after the next generation of engines have been developed and CO2 targets have been reviewed."

Ranking per average CO2 (g/km) emission 2021

Rank OEM 2021 Target 2021 Reduction in % 2015-2021
1 Renault 87 90 20.5
2 Peugeot-Citroen 89 93 19.8
3 Fiat 89.9 90 22.3
4 Toyota 92 94 19.1
5 Hyundai 94.2 93 23.6
6 Nissan 95 95 22.4
7 Ford 95.5 94 17.2
8 General Motors 96.5 95 23.3
9 Volkswagen 98.5 94 20
10 Volvo 99.3 100 18.5
11 BMW 104.9 100 18.4
12 Daimler 106.2 101 17.8
13 Jaguar Land Rover 135.8 132 22

Source: PA Consulting

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