JLR intensifies efforts to meet tough EU CO2 target

Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart - JLR intensifies efforts to meet tough EU CO2 target

Jaguar Land Rover will “turn every stone” including launching plug-in hybrids to bring its high average CO2 emissions down to an EU-approved level by 2021, JLR head of product development Wolfgang Ziebart said.

The British premium carmaker also is making its vehicles lighter through increased reliance on aluminum and it is debuting a new more fuel-efficient family of gasoline and diesel engines that will be sold alongside variants that already feature JLR’s recently launched diesel-electric powertrains.

“Going forward we will assume that the electric part of the drivertrain will increase. The electric motor will become stronger and the combustion engine might get smaller,” Ziebart said.

By 2021, JLR must reduce CO2 to 132 grams per kilometer from 180g/km now, which is down from 242g/km in 2007, Ziebart told journalists at the company’s research center in Gaydon, central England.

“There is still a way to go for us to achieve this,” Ziebart said.

Half of that target will be achieved through changes to JLR’s powertrains, he said. When the Jaguar XE midsize sedan launches next year it will feature the automaker’s new range of four-cylinder diesel and gasoline engines. The most economical diesel version from JLR’s Ingenium family will emit less than 100g/km of CO2, the company says.

“Ingenium will go a long way to improving [our emissions]”, Ziebart said.

Because it sells between 10,000 and 300,000 vehicles a year in Europe, Jaguar Land Rover qualifies for an exemption that gives it a default target of a 45 percent CO2 reduction between 2007 and 2021. By comparison, the combined CO2 fleet average for the automakers that don’t qualify for the exception is 95g/km by 2021, down from about 132g/km now.

Premium automakers such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo were also given higher CO2 targets for 2021, but they are only “slightly over” 100g/km, Greg Archer, head of environmental group Transport and Environment (T&E) told Automotive News Europe. Automakers need to achieve their targets to avoid fines.

The 132g/km target by 2021 for JLR is “extremely valuable” for the automaker, Archer said.

According to a report published by T&E in May, the majority of automakers in Europe are on track to meet their 2021 CO2 targets if they keep up with their past progress toward their individual goals. Volvo, Toyota, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Renault, Ford and Daimler will reach their CO2 targets before the deadline, while Volkswagen Group and Nissan are on schedule to achieve their totals by 2021. The report claimed that Fiat would miss its target by one year and BMW by three years.

Both automakers disputed T&E’s conclusion. A Fiat spokesman said that the automaker intends to meet its target. A BMW spokeswoman said the same, adding that “fines are not an option for BMW.”