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Parliament debates a crushing new requirement for European automobiles.

The European Parliament is set to begin debate on a far-reaching proposal to reduce the carbon footprint of European vehicles.  The new plan is both large and far-reaching, but the most shocking part is a requirement to ban within six years all vehicles with a top speed of over 162km/h (101 mph). At a stroke, this would eliminate the manufacture and sale of every sports car in Europe, along with larger, more powerful sedans. The plan also includes a requirement that carmakers spend 20% of all advertising to warn consumers of the CO2 emissions of their products.

The plan's author is Chris Davies, a member of Parliament and spokesman for the EC's committee on the environment and public health. Mr. Davies official position is, "cars designed to go at stupid speeds have to be built to withstand the effects of a crash at those speeds. They are heavier than necessary, less fuel efficient and produce too many emissions."  This of course ignores the fact that the fastest sports cars are designed as light as possible and actually weigh much less than the average family car.

The plan is known as the Carbon Allowance Reduction System, or CARS for short... apparently in the hopes that a catchy, easy-to-remember name will help sell it.

Mr. Davies is also working on a new labeling scheme for Europe, whereby all goods and services purchased in Europe-- everything from an airline ticket to a packet of cornflakes-- will be required to be labeled with an official "carbon statement"-- the result of a complex and expensive accounting of the total emissions generated during manufacture, shipping, and use. He tosses off concerns over the cost of the project as unwarranted piffle.

Europe has long been known as home to some of the planet's fastest sports cars-- as well as its fastest public motorways.  Will one stroke of a pen change all that? Contact your local MEP to find out.

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Anything with a top speed over 101?
By SirLucius on 7/11/2007 3:09:57 PM , Rating: 2
Banning any car with a top speed over 101mph?! I know Europe uses smaller, less powerful cars than the US, but still. It seems like most cars manufactured today should be able to go over 100 without much problem.

By Suomynona on 7/11/2007 4:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
I know, that's such a joke. I've done over 100 MPH in a '95 Geo Prism. There are very few cars today that can't do at least 100 MPH. Manufacturers would just lower their governors to 100, which totally defeats the purpose.

RE: Anything with a top speed over 101?
By othercents on 7/11/2007 4:29:49 PM , Rating: 5
What would happen if they just put a limiter on every car, so that they all top out at 100mph?


RE: Anything with a top speed over 101?
By PaxtonFettel on 7/11/2007 8:14:25 PM , Rating: 3
That would have to be the solution. There are very few cars incapable of 100mph these days, hell I could even get my 12 year old Peugot 106 over 100 on a nice day on the motorway. So what we'll have is a bunch of exactly the same cars but with limiters so they fit in the sub 101 bracket.
Trying to create this sort of legislation by limiting speed is just a ridiculous proposal and will do NOTHING to help reduce carbon emissions. Sports cars are very highly tuned to get every last bit of energy from every last drop of petrol and put it on to the road. A modern 200mph sports car is almost certainly a whole lot better than an old 2CV that can't even touch 70.
If they want to legislate carbon emissions, then that is what they should do, not go trying to make a point by crying wolf about banning sports cars. Totally ridiculous. There are speed limits in place to limit speed and emissions tests to monitor emissions. Make the latter more stringent and you don't need to go messing around with the former.

By Ringold on 7/12/2007 2:47:39 PM , Rating: 2
If they want to legislate carbon emissions, then that is what they should do, not go trying to make a point by crying wolf about banning sports cars.

In theory, I'd agree. In practice though I really prefer they take this route. Here they are, telling the world what their objective is; to reduce emissions and strike at a symbol of affluence. The world can therefore easily listen and very quickly understand what's going on -- and object. If they were savvy politicians, they'd do exactly what you propose, but they'd make it stringent enough that it achieved the exact same end result. The difference is it'd be a more complicated route and the only people that'd bother to pick up on it before it were too late would be the "right wing nutjob" types. So, yes, at least for now it's above board rather than below the table -- I reference the amazing vanishing act of the American diesel engine for the 2008 model year as such an example.

By feelingshorter on 7/13/2007 2:47:17 AM , Rating: 2
They could just take the limiter out. Don't know about all cars but I've seen it done, some limiters are located in the engine but that can still be taken out. That or you can take your speedometer out, which means you wont know how fast your going either (horrible idea).

Anyways, i know cars like the Skyline in Europe comes limited when it is imported to Europe. I'm not sure of the reasons but it might be something to do with faster car = higher import taxes or other issues with taxes. Changing out a simple chip and your European Skyline will be unlocked to use all its HP.

So limiters won't work for enthusiasts. Kind of like copyright protection on BR or HDDVD, it will be hacked if you allow the consumer to access it.

If anything, just have the government test the cars on how well it does with emissions. Then make people pay yearly fees thats attached to their drivers license (dont pay, dont drive). This could be done for extreme cases...if you own a Bugatti Veyron, i'm sure you have enough money left over to pay a heft fine for polluting an unfair share of air around you.

RE: Anything with a top speed over 101?
By Xerstead on 7/12/2007 3:56:45 PM , Rating: 2
Forget sports cars, almost every car made in the last 10 years will go over 100mph. I've managed over 110 mph in a 13 year old 1.4l Citroen ZX!! On a private road/track of course :) It just took a bit longer to get there than the new models.

By Xerstead on 7/12/2007 4:13:51 PM , Rating: 2
If this did ever see the light of day, (as a possible proposal by a party with no chance of being in power any time soon, it wont.)
Manufacturers would add a limiter set to 100mph, this wouldn't make any difference to emmissions as very few drive over 100. All the CO2 and safety issues would still stand.

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