AUTOMOTIVE089s the world is gradually emerging from adeep economic and financial crisis, wemust combine our forces to build a stablefoundation for economic recovery andlead the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable society.With the right policy support, the automotive industrycan play a key role in achieving both.If the 2009 climate change conference in Copenhagentaught us a lesson, it is clearly this: we need a newspirit of cooperation between all parties within society,to address the important long-term sustainabilityquestions which have emerged. As the EuropeanCommission recently wrote: "The exit from the crisis isalso the point of entry into a new sustainableeconomy." We could not agree more. However, a pre-condition for sustainability is competitiveness.The US, China and Japan - in addition to a number ofother nations - have already recognised this. They haveshown well coordinated efforts to encourageinvestments in sustainable mobility research &development. These efforts were stepped up duringthe economic downturn.We Europeans must acknowledge the importance ofthese actions. Remember, the automobile wasinvented in Europe. And given its huge economicA?
significance for this continent, it is in our vital interestto ensure that the re-invention of the automobile alsotakes place here. If European politics and industry joinforces towards this goal, we can and will do so.This development starts with a simple insight: cars andtrucks are not the problem. Emissions are. And as theglobal automobile industry steadily crosses thethreshold to a new era of "greener" individual mobility,the European automotive industry will continue to be a major contributor to the solution. In fact, we havealready made substantial progress: we are pressingahead with the development of advanced biofuels. Themarket for technologies such as mild-, full- and plug-in hybrids is gaining critical mass. Thanks to advancedlithium-ion batteries, modern electric vehicles arebecoming a viable option for urban transport. And wehave started small volume series production of fuel-cell vehicles that provide the utility of a conventionalcar, yet emit nothing but benign water vapor. At the same time, it is clear that while the monopoly ofthe highly efficient combustion engine is slowly butsteadily fading, it will remain the primary form ofpropulsion into the 2020 timeframe. Therefore, thecontinued optimisation of the internal combustionengine will be the single most important lever for thereduction of CO2 emissions for a number of years tocome. This means that the auto industry will have toachieve reasonable earnings with conventionallypowered vehicles in order to finance the continueddevelopment of technologies that will ultimatelyreplace traditional powertrains.Accordingly, a balanced and pragmatic policyframework is essential. For example, CO2 objectivesneed to be reasonable, accounting for different classesof vehicles that reflect consumer choice and needs. Inaddition, the tailpipe target system for passenger carssimply will not work for vans, trucks or buses. We haveto move to a smart system based on "work done" inMain Picture: Modernelectric vehicles arebecoming a viable optionAbove: Advocate ofgreener car technology,Dr Dieter Zetsche090AUTOMOTIVEtonne-kilometre or passenger-kilometre. Furthermore,policy must be consistent over the long term. After all,developing a car is a multi-billion Euro and five-to-ten-year bet in the market - so we need to know what toexpect. The same is true when it comes to e-mobility.This is why we suggest "five principles" for jointprogress towards sustainable mobility: 1. Create a supportive long-term policy environmentwith a technology-neutral approach, sufficient lead-time and an appropriate fiscal framework. Marketincentives can help to "prime the pump" withconsumers when the timing is right.2.Provide more support for research and developmentin Europe - for instance, with loans from theEuropean Investment Bank and faster approvalprocedures under the European Commission's"Framework Programmes for Research".3. Strengthen efforts for standardisation. When itcomes to electric mobility, we also need globalstandards with common interfaces between thevehicles and the infrastructure to recharge or refuelthem. We have managed to agree on a commoncurrency in Europe - we should be able to agree on acommon plug as well.4.Build the required infrastructures. There will be noalternative-drive vehicles without access to biofuels,hydrogen or electricity. We need to solve the classic"chicken or the egg" dilemma. The vehicles arequickly developing. Now we must start creating theappropriate infrastructures to build customeracceptance and market demand.5.Think in terms of "well-to-wheel". After all, powermust still be generated somewhere. If we just clean upthe cars and not the power generation sources, thenwe have only shifted the problem instead of solving it. Here in Europe, we already have a good foundation to build on. "CARS 21" - a platform of multiplestakeholders involved in automotive policies - is basedon the clear understanding that economy and ecologyCO2 EMISSIONS FROM NEW CARS IN GCO2/KM IN THE EU15