The EU wants all European carmakers to meet a 120g/km average across their ranges by 2012. The current vehicle average is 160g/km.
But speaking at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, also chairman of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), said carmakers needed at least six or seven years to implement it after the proposed legislation arrives in 2009.
Mr Marchionne said the industry was committed to reducing emissions. “We take our responsibility very seriously,” he said. “We count on an EU policy that supports our efforts. There is a lot at stake for both the environment and the economy.
“Sufficient lead-time is indispensable ahead of legislation that is this important. Possibly a phase-in could be considered.”
Lead time is common around the world. Japan agreed new CO2 requirements with the car industry last year, which should result in average emissions of 138g/km from 2015.
The ACEA points out that more than 50 innovations have been made in cutting CO2 since 1995 and many others are due to enter the market soon.