BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — Carmakers would be required to cut carbon dioxide emissions in new cars sold in Europe starting in 2012, a move that could add almost $1,900 to the price of automobiles, under rules proposed Wednesday by the European Commission.
The plan, which needs the backing of European Union governments, would put a heavier burden on producers of larger and heavier cars to meet new binding emission limits and would fine all carmakers that sell vehicles in the 27-nation bloc if they exceed the target, EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said.
''Passenger cars account for about 12 percent of overall EU carbon dioxide emissions and emissions from transport are continually increasing,'' Dimas said. ''The aim of the legislation is to reduce CO2 emissions from cars in order to help fight climate change.''
Automakers, many of which tried to water down the plan, would be forced to reduce average emissions of CO2 from new passenger cars sold in the EU from around 160 grams per kilometer to an average 130 grams per kilometer in 2012.
However, makers of such gas-guzzling products like SUVs or luxury cars can create a pool with other car companies that produce lighter and lower emitting cars to meet the average 130 gram target for their combined total vehicle production under the proposal. Critics said that provision resulted from heavy lobbying by German carmakers.
''Each manufacturer can pool together, can average ... the emissions of all the cars they produce,'' Dimas said.
In addition, manufacturers like Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini, which make high-end luxury speed racers and sell less than 10,000 cars a year, could be exempt from the emission limit rules.