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Multiple benefits from investing in advanced clean vehicle technology

The potential for environmental technology in the automotive industry to create jobs, reduce vehicle running costs and harmful emissions, and lessen Europe’s dependence on imported oil has been highlighted in a new report published last month. Various scenarios suggest carbon dioxide could be cut by 64-97% by 2050, while 0.5-1.1 million additional jobs could be created by 2030.

Makers of German gas-guzzling cars cheat fuel-economy tests more than all others

Gap between makers of gas-guzzlers and fuel-efficient cars is growingA new report says the average discrepancy between car CO2 emissions measured in official tests and what they emit on the roads was 7% a decade ago but is about 25% now. T&E says the findings also show the makers of gas guzzlers cheat motorists the most. This latest report comes as the Commission and MEPs are supporting calls for a new and more realistic testing regime, but some governments are trying to delay it.

Who’s taking the lead on lead times?

‘Lead time’ is an expression most people do not often hear, but you hear it all the time when you work on European green laws. Lead time is the idea that, when you set a new environmental standard for an industry, that industry needs to be given time to adapt. This all sounds fair and good, but in reality claiming that lead times are too short, or even too long, is a very popular tool for industry lobbyists to get rid of or delay laws, and that in turn makes lead time a controversial issue.

MEPs set standard for 2025 new cars

MEPs have sent a signal that car makers will have to meet fuel efficiency targets by both 2020 and 2025. Although the decision still has to be confirmed by the full European Parliament, EU member states and Commission, the move lays down a marker that the average new car should need less than three litres to drive 100km by 2025. Environmental groups have welcomed the vote, but say it does not go far enough to drive zero-emission cars into the market. 

Electric cars slow to catch on

An analysis of market forecasts for low-carbon cars suggests the take-up of electric vehicles will have a very slow take-up over the next decade. The analysis, Powering Ahead by the Ricardo-AEA consultancy, says the total number of plug-in hybrid and pure battery-powered cars being sold each year in the UK by 2020 will not exceed 200 000 and may even be as low as 40 000.

EU car emissions test ‘deceiving customers’

The gap between what cars emit in reality and what they are officially measured as emitting has grown to nearly a quarter, and continues to grow. A report by T&E says this gap and its growth is caused by car makers’ manipulation of testing procedures, and it explains how this is done. T&E says the current test regime is not fit for purpose, a new test should replace it by 2016, and follow-up checks should be carried out on cars to show their results are consistent with the official test results.

ICCT warns Commission on ‘weight v footprint’ debate

An international study has warned the EU that it risks getting an important detail wrong in plans to limit carbon dioxide emissions from new cars. The International Council for Clean Transportation (ICCT) says basing the EU’s emissions standards on the weight of a vehicle will make it much harder and more expensive to achieve targets and instead a vehicle’s ‘footprint’ should be the guiding factor. 

60 g/km by 2025 is possible with existing technology

A report commissioned by T&E and Greenpeace suggests the EU can more than halve its existing carbon dioxide emissions from new cars with existing technology. The report, by the British consultancy Ricardo-AEA, says the right mixture of electric, hybrid and conventionally-fuelled cars will enable Europe to reach a target of 60 grams per kilometre from the average new car in 2025.

‘Scaremongering’ could lead to louder roads

Efforts to reduce traffic noise across Europe suffered a setback earlier this month when MEPs voted to weaken current noise limits for sports cars and lorries. The outcome of the vote hinders moves to bring EU vehicle noise levels into line with World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations for safe limits. T&E says MEPs have put pressure by the automotive industry ahead of the health of citizens.