The American electric carmaker Tesla says it expects to have a battery-making factory in Germany within five or six years. The news came from an interview with Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk in the German news magazine Der Spiegel in which he said German carmakers lacked interest in electric cars.
EU governments last week agreed three modest targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions, increase the share of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency by 2030. Environmental groups said the goals would not do enough to cut Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels and put it on track to meet its own 2050 climate pledges.
Ireland’s car taxation on carbon dioxide emissions has caused ‘a profound change’ in the new car fleet, according to data published by the country’s sustainable energy authority, SEAI. However, the positive news is tempered by further evidence of the widening gap between car test results for CO2 emissions and their real-world performance.
Spain has announced a €27 billion investment in 43 greenhouse gas reduction measures designed to meet its EU burden sharing obligations and create 45,000 jobs per year. But environmental groups say the proposals do not go far enough.
Many people tend to see the world in a Manichean way. You’ve got the good guys and the bad guys. That’s as true within the environmental movement as anywhere else. So it is perhaps surprising to see that many environmentalists work together with unusual allies. For example, when it comes to car CO2 standards environmentalists and car drivers have the same interest; cleaner, more efficient cars are good for drivers’ pockets and for the climate. That makes the case for them almost irresistible.
The Danish government has asked EU leaders to consider including transport in the emissions trading system (ETS) when they discuss climate and energy targets at a European Council later this month. Campaigners say such a move would actually be counterproductive to reducing emissions in the sector and do nothing to strengthen the ETS.
The unofficial capital of Europe is the most congested city in Europe, according to the latest ranking of congested cities, but opinion sampling and a vote in Gothenburg suggest public willingness for tackling congestion is not great.
We just published a new paper on how electric cars are faring these days in Europe, and since I get asked a lot what we think about them, let me try to summarise my thoughts here.
High levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in cities, caused by diesel cars, are likely to persist for decades, the UK Government was recently forced to admit. In evidence to the European Court of Justice, in a case brought by Client Earth, the government admitted it would be at least 2030 before London, Leeds and Birmingham meet nitrogen dioxide standards that should have been achieved in 2010.
Sales of electric vehicles in Europe have doubled every year since 2010, according to the latest data analysed by T&E. Provisional figures for 2013 indicate that almost 50,000 plug-in vehicles were sold; around 0.4% of all car sales in the EU.