The European Union is considering plans to impose average carbon dioxide emissions of 95g/km from 2020.
That would mean that all cars on sale in 2020 would have to use less fuel than almost all of the conventional cars on sale today. Average car emissions in 2006 were 160g/km.
The proposal is far stricter than plans proposed, which are currently being debated by Members of the European Parliament. That calls for an average of 120g/km for new cars by 2012.
The MEPs who are backing the 95g/km move believe such drastic cuts are necessary if the European Union is to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% between 1990 and 2020.
However, European car manufacturers believe all the proposed targets present too great a challenge, and want the 120g/km target to be phased in by 2015, to allow time for new models to be launched.