Carmakers are negotiating with the EU and UK for subsidies to help boost demand for new vehicles, but campaigners are concerned that the stimulus could end up paying for pollution unless emissions restrictions are imposed.
The carmakers argue that subsidies would help kickstart demand as lockdown measures ease and factories reopen, preventing tens of thousands of job losses amid a global slump in car orders.
Bosses such as BMW’s chief executive, Oliver Zipse, have publicly called for grant support to apply across traditional internal combustion engines as well as battery-powered cars and hybrids.
The heads of European carmakers including BMW, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler and Jaguar Land Rover discussed the plans last week with Frans Timmermans, the European commission’s executive vice-president for the green deal. The carmakers pushed for a Europe-wide scheme part-funded from the EU budget.