By Dale Jewett, Automotive News Europe
Prague, Czech Republic -Â Automakers are facing tough, expensive choices as the European Commission pushes a plan to cut CO2 emissions to an average of 130 grams per kilometre in 2012, Volvo Car CEO Fredrik Arp said.
â€œAlternative powertrains have to prove themselves and we need to explore many avenues,â€ Arp said.
He added: â€œWe believe that the time is potentially too short. It will mean too heavy an investment phase in only five years.â€
The Commission is expected to finalise a mandate this autumn calling for the cut in CO2 emissions, as it looks likely automakers will not be able to meet a voluntary limit of 140g/km in 2008. New cars sold in Europe in 2005 emitted an average of 162g/km of CO2.
Many consumers have not been willing to pay the extra costs of advanced technologies, such as full hybrids, that it will take to reach lower emissions limits, Arp said. â€œThere is a lot to be done on the business case for hybrids,â€ he said.
On a brighter note, Arp said Volvo's sales in Russia and China are booming. Through the first five months of this year, sales in Russia are up 140 percent and China sales are up nearly 100 percent.
From Automotive News Europe (A Crain publication)