New analysis from European green think tank Transport & Environment (T&E) says carmakers are exploiting loopholes in EU clean car rules.

While many car manufacturers have already made their own commitments to end production of internal combustion engine vehicles, T&E says weak EU targets mean carmakers will not be required to deliver on their publicly stated EV production plans.

T&E points out that EU clean car rules have driven plug-in vehicle sales to almost one-fifth of the market and carmakers get easier targets if they sell heavier vehicles, driving up sales of high-emitting SUVs and plug-in hybrid, which – when not charged – can actually pollute more than fossil fuel engines.

T&E’s analysis finds that all major manufacturers on track to comply with EU CO2 targets for 2021, despite three companies, JLR, Volvo and Daimler, having higher tail-pipe emissions, on average, than five years ago.

T&E said that without setting more ambitious carmaker targets from 2025 onwards – including an intermediate goal in 2027 and an 80% car CO2 cut in 2030 compared to today – it will be very hard for member states to reach their proposed national climate goals by 2030.

Alex Keynes, clean vehicles manager at T&E, said, “Now is the time to set properly ambitious targets if we are to avoid a wasted decade in the race to decarbonise cars.”