June 20. 2024. 1:23

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Czech automotive sector calls EU emissions plans ‘unrealistic’

The European Commission’s new plan to reduce CO2 emissions from newly produced heavy lorries by 90% by 2040 is unrealistic, the Automotive Industry Association (AutoSAP) said in a press release on Thursday.

Other goals are also overly ambitious, including a requirement to produce only zero-emission urban buses as early as 2030 or reducing CO2 emissions by 45% by that year, AutoSAP’s press release continued.

The proposed changes will affect manufacturers, transport operators and, above all, residents and businesses as they will face more expensive goods and services as a result, AutoSAP said. Over 78% of goods and passenger transport in the EU is carried out by road.

The real decarbonisation of road transport requires much more than tightening CO2 targets for manufacturers, according to AutoSAP.

Current obstacles to climate neutrality include a shortage of resources, especially batteries, the virtual absence of the necessary charging and filling infrastructure and conditions that would motivate transport operators to change their fleets, AutoSAP added.

Manufacturers are thus calling on the Czech government to push for a modified proposal. They suggest setting a requirement to reduce CO2 emissions for heavy vehicles by 40% by 2035 compared to 2019 and 50% by 2040.

They also want to remove the early ban on internal combustion engines for the urban bus category so that it is postponed to at least 2035, and add a mechanism that would take into account the potential of renewable or CO2-neutral fuels.

“Perhaps the automotive industry has never been in such a complicated situation as now. Apart from production disruptions caused by persistent global chip shortages or the impact of high energy and material prices, vehicle manufacturers are literally overwhelmed by the excessive amount of incoming EU legislation,” said David Kříž, member of the association’s board of directors.

“Particularly in the context of the recent proposal of new Euro 7 emission standards, we consider the requirement for the speed of CO2 reduction to be extremely tough,” he added.

The Czech economy remains heavily dependent on its traditional automotive industry. With regard to Euro 7, the government is currently strongly criticising its design and trying to negotiate a relaxation of the conditions in Brussels. (Ondřej Plevák | EURACTIV.cz)