BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer has said in an interview that the EU Commission's proposed rules to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new cars by 2012 would be a 'damned difficult target' to achieve.

The demands by politicians pushing for the environmental vote 'would cost each car producer a few billions of euros because reducing further grams of CO2 would be always be more expensive'. The EU has proposed rules requiring carmakers to cut CO2 from new cars to an average of 130g/km by 2012, reports Thomson Financial.

In the US, legislators are planning to similar moves to curb production of vehicles that use too much fuel. On the table are draft rules that would require an annual increase in economy of 4%, something the domestic carmakers feel could pave the way for even greater sales of import vehicles from Asia.

Norbert Reithofer said more than one-third of BMW models would emit less than 140g/km from 2008, but this is still higher than other European car companies such as Renault and Peugeot.

Carmakers are using a range of solutions to meet the targets, including smaller engines, hybrid drivetrains, more efficient transmissions, and weight reduction.