Europe’s automotive industry agreed to reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions in the coming years at one of the world’s biggest car shows in Frankfurt on Wednesday – but only on the condition that electric cars prove to be successful.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, known by its French acronym ACEA, proposed a 20-per-cent reduction in harmful carbon dioxide engine emissions for passenger cars between 2021 and 2030.

“This is a steep reduction,” association president and Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche said at the IAA motor show in the German city of Frankfurt.

However, the industry representative said that this would happen on the condition that there was genuine consumer demand for electrically chargeable vehicles and that the facilities to charge such vehicles were in place.

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Zetsche explained that the carmakers’ goal intended to link “Europe’s long-term climate objectives to the reality of the market.”

The goal was to be re-evaluated in 2025 and could be set higher if electric cars become more popular, Zetsche added.

Germany, Europe’s largest economy and home to automotive giants such as Volkswagen, Audi and BMW, has far to go in terms of developing its infrastructure for charging zero-emissions e-cars.

Lack of facilities is often cited as a reason for low demand, as well as high prices and low driving range.

The European Union has set a 2021 target for car manufacturers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 95 grams per kilometre as a fleet average for all new cars. Last year, the average emissions level of a new car was 120 grams per kilometre.

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Source: dpa/GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh

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