CO₂ fleet compliance. Part IV: Targets for climate protection

In addition to limits that must not be exceeded by individual models for their type approval, such as in relation to pollutant emissions, the EU sets another limit aimed mainly at climate protection: the so-called "CO₂ fleet compliance".

The manufacturer's fleet value: What is it? And how is it determined?

For this purpose, depending on a manufacturer's average dimensions, the EU sets a CO₂ emissions limit that must not be exceeded by the manufacturer in a certain year as an average across its new-vehicle fleet. Daimler's target is - due to the higher average vehicle weight of our premium fleet compared to the average European vehicle fleet - likely to be around 100 g/km by 2021. In other words: from 2020, Mercedes-Benz's new-vehicle fleet including smart will be allowed on average to emit only 100 grams of CO₂ per kilometer. The manufacturer is granted a small relief in the first year (2020), the so-called "phase-in", in which the target value must be achieved by 95 percent of the fleet.

The average value of the CO₂ emissions is calculated as follows: The total of the certified CO₂ emissions of the individual vehicles is divided by the number of new vehicles sold in the calendar year. This produces a CO₂ fleet value at manufacturer level for the calendar year. This value must be below the manufacturer-specific target; otherwise penalties are payable.

The industry's targets for a further reduction of the consumption and CO₂ emissions of road traffic are challenging:

• the average emissions of the new-vehicle fleet are required by 2021 to drop to 95 grams of CO₂/km (equivalent to an approximate consumption of 4.0 liters of gasoline or around 3.5 liters of diesel/100 km) – this, however, is calculated according to NEDC (to be precise: it is based on the CO₂ emissions of individual vehicles measured under WLTP and then converted to NEDC).

From 2021, fleet compliance will be tested entirely under WLTP. The future WLTP targets will be derived from the 95g CO₂/km target in NEDC using a conversion method devised by the EU Commission. The reason: WLTP-certified vehicles will tend, "for cyclical reasons", to have higher consumption and emissions values. If then the target remained numerically the same, this would amount to an implicit tightening of the target. The efforts to prevent this are known as the principle of "comparable stringency", which was taken into account in the development of the WLTP procedure.

As things stand at present, Mercedes-Benz Cars is on course to comply with the fleet legislation. For instance, in the last two decades the CO₂ emissions of our passenger car fleet have been almost halved from 230 g CO₂/km to 125 g CO₂/km. Already today, 68 models from Mercedes-Benz Cars emit less than 120 g/km. And 108 models have been awarded the efficiency label A+ or A.

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