EU Lawmakers Grapple with Cleaner Cars

EU Lawmakers Grapple with Cleaner Cars

After catching flak from environmentalists and some politicians for potentially weakening vehicle-related carbon dioxide emissions, European Union lawmakers postponed a vote to allow more time to toughen the rules.

The European Parliament's environment committee was to vote on watered-down laws easing emissions targets for new cars, extending the phase-in period for carmakers to comply, and lowering penalties for those that didn't, Reuters reported.

Now they say they will tighten the time-line and boost penalties for a new set of rules it will vote on later this month. The full parliament will vote on the final proposal in October.

The EU has set a goal of reducing CO2 emissions 20 percent by 2020. Cars account for roughly 14 percent of the bloc's total emissions.

Meanwhile, the European Parliament on Wednesday voted for strict standards for approving hydrogen cars, buses and lorries in order to avoid a patchwork of rules from the EU's 27 member states setting their own.

But the technology has faced skepticism from some who say it is too far from mass production and less effective than basic fuel efficiency efforts. Others question its safety while parliament said success depends on establishing the proper fueling infrastructure.