It is looking like the UK is to remain with EU regulation on CO2 emission standards even after leaving the European Union at the end of this year. A new consultation points out as much and is open for comments until 21 August.
The consultation document published by the British government includes proposals that will maintain a regulatory regime “as close to business as usual scenario for manufacturers as possible”. This is to avoid confusion, especially as the country’s fleet is heavier than the EU27’s. Moving from the EU fleet average to a UK specific value would “immediately make regulatory targets more demanding for all manufacturers,” the department argues in the consultation document.
The average weight of cars sold in the UK back in 2018 was 1,466 kg (3,232 lbs), whereas the EU held averages of 1,420 kg (3,130 lbs). Due to the UK having a higher average vehicle mass than the EU, the combined sum of UK targets will be slightly higher than in the EU27. “However, this reflects a continuation of the current level of effort employed in the UK to meet compliance standards rather than any weakening of ambition,” states the consultation document. This is also in line with the government’s claim to follow “a future approach as we leave the European Union that is at least as ambitious as the current arrangements for vehicle emissions regulation,” laid out in the same document.
As reported, Great Britain is planning a ban on new registrations of pure combustion engines and hybrid vehicles from 2035, although a possible earlier deadline is still being discussed. This is laid out in the Road to Zero strategy.
When made into legislation as proposed, the UK will keep the EU’s 15% CO2 emission reduction target for cars and vans from 2025, and a 37.5% reduction for cars and 31% for vans come 2030. Carmakers will face fines of 86 British pounds instead of 95 euros for every gram of CO2 exceeded. The limit is 95 grams per km, and manufacturers will still base their targets on the average weight of vehicles sold. Again, instead of looking at fleet weights for the UK, the system will continue to rely on the averages of vehicles sold across the EU.
The government consultation remains open for comments until 21 August 2020. Once completed, a summary of the public’s responses and the government’s response, including the next steps, will be published in due course.
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