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New car efficiency standards ‘would save drivers €800 a year’

Tougher laws to cut emissions would lead to dramatic savings in the cost of motoring, it’s been claimed.

New cars await shipping in Southampton, England
New cars await shipping in Southampton, England
Image: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/Press Association Images

TOUGHER LEGISLATION ON emission levels from new cars could save drivers more than €800 a year, according to An Taisce.

The heritage group is calling on environment minister Phil Hogan to steer through laws to dramatically lower the threshold for the efficiency of new cars, when Ireland assumes the presidency of the EU next year.

Reducing the emissions standard from its current level of 140g/km of carbon dioxide to 60g/km by 2025 would save the average motorist €842 annually, An Taisce said.

Currently, the EU target is to set a new standard of 95g/km by 2020. This has been backed by major car manufacturers including Volvo, whose CEO told Reuters it was the “right level”. However, it is opposed by Volkswagen.

Calling for a new standard to be in place by 2025, An Taisce said in a statement that drivers in Ireland are currently paying an average of €1,820 a year in motor fuel bills.

If Minister Hogan steers through EU-wide car efficiency legislation for 2020 as it is currently drafted, annual fuel bills can be cut by €455 a year.  And if Minister Hogan gets behind an ambitious standard for 2025, motorists will save a massive €842 by that year.

Alan Nolan, the director general of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, said that the group was “very supportive of trying to drive that improvement” in emissions. He said however that the details of any new legislation would be important.

Do we see cars getting cleaner? Absolutely. Do we see people making savings? Of course. Should that be implemented as targets? Yes, of course – if the timescale and the targets are reasonable.

The emissions standards refer to the average emissions across the whole of a manufacturer’s fleet.

More: 634 learner drivers convicted last year for not displaying L plates>

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Michael Freeman

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