Auto industry needs to up its game with policymakers to reduce CO2 emissions and stay competitive, says GlobalData

In an exclusive interview with GlobalData, UK-based components supplier GKN said the industry should be much stronger in explaining the importance of its technology to politicians.

David Leggett, Automotive Editor at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, comments: “Stricter regulatory frameworks for automotive companies, in areas such as CO2 emissions, are being driven by global pressures for mobility to become more environmentally friendly.

“While this is understandable, particularly in the context of international accords to tackle climate change, there is a need to appreciate the whole picture and the issues involved in the transition from incumbent technologies to new and cleaner ones – such as electric cars.”

From 2021, to be phased in from 2020, the EU fleet-wide average emission target for new cars will be 95g CO2/km. The current level is estimated to be in the region of 120g/km, making the target a serious challenge for the industry. There are further tough challenges for a 15% reduction by 2025 and 37.5% by 2030, relative to a 2021 baseline.

Leggett continues: “If the regulatory framework is set at too strict a level, it risks placing an additional cost burden that adversely impacts companies’ competitive position in global terms.

“Politicians need to appreciate the whole picture on the basis of good and reliable data and ensure that the pace of change is commensurate to broader economic needs while maintaining a realistic approach to reducing overall emissions of harmful pollutants and CO2. The automotive industry needs to be more effective in making its case to politicians.”

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