The European Commission today approved the first eco-innovation to help reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars. The decision follows an application by carmaker Audi AG involving the use of light emitting diodes (LEDs).
Audi has demonstrated that the use of LEDs in the low beam headlamp, the high beam headlamp and the licence plate lamp is innovative within the meaning of the relevant legislation, reduces CO2 emissions and is not otherwise taken into account for determining the level of such emissions from vehicles.
The vehicle-specific CO2 savings from the eco-innovation will be certified for each version of the car that is equipped with this technology as part of the vehicle type approval procedure. The reduction in CO2 emissions will be counted towards the achievement of the manufacturer's annual CO2 emissions target, up to a maximum level of 7gCO2/km per year.
EU legislation (Regulation (EC) No 443/2009) requires that by 2015 CO2 emissions from all new cars registered in the EU should not exceed an average of 130 gCO2/km. The eco-innovation scheme is one of the means available to help manufacturers meet the target.
The detailed conditions and the procedure for the approval of eco-innovations are set out in Commission Regulation (EU) No 725/2011. The Commission has also developed detailed Technical Guidelines on how companies should prepare applications to have their eco-innovations recognised, of which a revised version was published last month.