News ID: 153419
Published: 0245 GMT June 18, 2016

Coupling efficient vehicles with renewable energy

Coupling efficient vehicles with renewable energy

Newly registered private cars must meet certain defined CO2 emission standards, and these are expected to be made more stringent in the forthcoming revision of the national regulations, in parallel with similar EU legislation.

Empa, PSI and BFH have taken this opportunity to recommend an additional measure to increase the effectiveness of the new standards. They suggest that the authorities allow combinations of efficient vehicles with renewable energies to be considered as single units, with the resulting, proven reduction in CO2 emission to be used for determining compliance with the emission standard. A proposal being discussed by the Swiss National Council over the next few days follows a similar line of argument, Physorg reported.

Mobility on the roads plays an important role in the economic and societal development of Switzerland. At the same time, it is also responsible for about one third of all end-user energy consumption in the country and nearly 40 percent of all CO2 emissions. Steps to reduce these values were therefore introduced as part of the energy, CO2, and mineral-oil taxation legislation framework. These measures include energy labels and target CO2 emission levels for private cars, as well as relief from the mineral-oil duty for renewable fuels.

The CO2 legislation is of particular significance for the automobile industry, as non-compliance with the stipulated target emissions will result in punitive levels of duty being applied. Currently, if target emission values are exceeded by more than 3 gm/km of CO2 then a surcharge of CHF 142.5 per gm is levied. This is equivalent to paying CHF 600 per ton of CO2 over the operating lifetime of the vehicle, assumed to be 225,000km (based on 15 years at 15,000 km annually). Private vehicle CO2 emissions are therefore a very expensive proposition, for which reason the suggested measures are expected to be very effective. They therefore represent an excellent opportunity to encourage the reduction of these emissions.

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