International Update – May 2019

Date: May 7, 2019

Welcome to the latest installment of “International Update” – a monthly feature of the Washington Insider from John Creamer, MEMA’s advisor on international regulatory affairs. This month's installment notes the passage of the EU “clean mobility package” covering the 2025 to 2030 CO2 emissions requirements for light and heavy vehicles, EU’s choice of a connected vehicle communication standard, and agreement on the safety technologies to become mandatory across the EU from 2022.

If there are topics you would like to see addressed in future “International Update” columns or if you have questions about this installment, please contact Leigh Merino. Please click through to read the whole column.

EU CO2 emissions limits set for 2030

With the April 15 endorsement of the European Council on the proposal for light vehicles, the European Union has agreed on the limits for CO2 emissions across cars and trucks for 2030. The agreement on cars will require a 15 percent reduction for cars and vans by 2025 (against a yet to be established 2021 baseline) followed by 37.5 percent lower carbon emissions from cars and 31 percent lower emissions from vans by 2030. This result was largely a political compromise between the original Council proposal for a 35 percent reduction and a European Parliament target of 40 percent (the European Commission had initially proposed 30 percent). For heavy trucks (GVW > 6,000 metric tons), the earlier agreement reached earlier this year in February calls for reductions of 15 percent by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030. The heavy-duty vehicle baseline will be determined by the results of vehicle monitoring based on a separate regulation that entered into force last January.

The regulations offer incentives for the deployment of electrified vehicles (EVs), including application of multipliers for counting battery-electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles (“super credit” system). The light-vehicle targets could require electrified vehicles sales to reach 30-40 percent of total new cars sales. However, the European vehicle manufacturers association (ACEA) has noted the lack of EV infrastructure, especially for heavy-duty vehicles. According to ACEA research, there are presently no recharging stations on European highways suitable for electric heavy-duty vehicle needs; further, there are only 10 hydrogen refueling stations. ACEA estimates that at least 6,000 high-power points and 20,000 standard chargers plus some 1,000 hydrogen fueling stations would be needed to meet the emissions targets.

From 2025, the truck super credits system will be replaced by mandatory sales thresholds for zero-emission vehicles.

The two CO2 regulations should be formalized for entry-into-force later this year. Given the uncertainty surrounding the viability of high-volume EVs sales in the short term, the legislation calls for a mid-term review in 2022.

EU connected-vehicle standard avoids delay

On April 17, the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism rejected a motion to delay consideration of a European Commission proposal to standardize EU vehicle connectivity around the 802.11p direct short-range communications standard. The Commission proposal, which was put forward on March 13, effectively selects this technology over the alternative Cellular V2X (C-V2X, also known as PC5 or Sidelink) and has predictably alarmed backers of the latter. Although the Commission has suggested that C-V2X could be “backwards compatible” with 802.11p, the GSM Association, representing mobile phone operators, begs to differ, stating in a letter to parliamentarians that the integrating the two technologies like “putting a DVD into a VHS player and trying to make it work.”  The GSMA says that the Commission proposal would lock C-V2X out of the European market. The 5G Automotive Association, which includes a cross-section of global OEM and major suppliers, tweeted “It is a major breach of procedure for (the EU Commission) to pick a technology which many major carmakers regard as old and inferior to mobile C-V2X technology”. Under the “delegated acts” procedure, the Commission proposal will enter into force unless either the European Council or the European Parliament objects within two months following its publication.

Political agreement on new EU safety requirements

On March 25, the European Parliament, Council, and Commission (the three legislative institutions of the European Union) reached a “political agreement” on new requirements for motor vehicles beginning from September 2022. The agreed text will now be subject to formal adoption by the Council and the European Parliament with its entry-into-force set for 1 September 2019. As explained in more detail in the Update last March, the EU will make the following technologies compulsory:

        All vehicles

  • intelligent speed assistance
  • alcohol interlock interface
  • driver drowsiness and attention warning
  • advanced driver distraction warning
  • emergency stop braking signal
  • reversing detection
  • accident event data recorder


        Cars and vans

  • automatic emergency braking system (AEBS)
  • lane-departure warning system
  • enlarged pedestrian/cyclist head-impact protection zones
  • full-width rigid barrier frontal impact protection


        Trucks and buses

  • tire-pressure monitoring systems
  • blind spot information systems for cyclist detection
  • improved direct driver vision for pedestrians and cyclists


For more information or questions on this month’s International Update, please contact Leigh Merino.

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