LONDON, UK: As Europe shifts steadily toward a carbon dioxide (CO2)-based vehicle taxation regime and vehicle manufacturers (VMs) hasten to comply with stringent EU CO2 norms (average fleet emissions less than 130g/km by 2015), demand for low-CO2 cars has skyrocketed. As a result, every European VM is racing towards capturing a share of this opportunity.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Implementation Roadmap of CO2 Tax Banding in European Countries and Impact Analysis on Powertrain and Green Technology Adoption, finds that about 80 per cent of the European vehicle sales is expected to be in the less than 150g/km CO2 emission band by 2015.
The countries covered in this research service are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
"By 2015, the average car in Europe will be 5 percent lighter, with 30 percent lower CO2 emissions," says Frost & Sullivan Programme Manager Vigneshwaran Chandran. "Downsizing, gasoline direct injection (GDI), and start-stop will be the key technologies helping original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) achieve emission targets by 2015."
About 8-10 million cars are expected to be in the less than 120g/km CO2 emission band in Europe by 2015 – a significantly attractive market opportunity for both volume and premium manufacturers.
While VMs invest heavily in the development of new low-CO2 models and engine variants, it is challenging to pass on these costs on to the customer, risking the OEMs' profitability.
"Offsetting the high development costs for green technologies and time for returns-on-investment on certain expensive developments such as gasoline direct injection and hybridisation will be a key commercial challenge for automakers," explains fellow analyst Hariher Balasubramanian.
Subsequently, automakers will likely employ different strategies for emission reduction, with mass manufacturers adopting moderate downsizing and technologies like variable valve train (VVT) and GDI. On the other hand, premium automakers will invest significantly on aggressive engine downsizing by more than 20 per cent, combined with full hybridization.
"Premium manufacturers such as Daimler and BMW are likely to use a combination of electric vehicles, hybridization, and downsizing to achieve their 2015 CO2 emission target of 130g/km, while volume manufacturers will use a mix of green technologies such as GDI, VVT and start-stop systems," concludes Balasubramanian.