Browse by topic: Briefing, Climate Change and Energy, Standards

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Collusion to weaken fuel economy regulations

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The current system for testing car CO2 emissions and fuel economy, the NEDC, is obsolete. Thankfully, a new test, the WLTP, is scheduled to replace the NEDC in 2017. To do this, the average CO2 emissions target for cars (95 g/km for 2020/1) needs to be revised in a way that maintains “equivalent stringency” between the tests.

Explanatory note: Comparing US and EU truck fuel economy

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In June 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced phase II of fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks, intended to reduce planet-warming carbon pollution. In the US tractor-trailers average between 33-36l/100km. The new proposal will bring that down to below 27l/100km by 2027. This explanatory note details how US trucks will overtake European lorries as the most efficient in the world.

Shipping emissions – the final EU climate frontier

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On 28 April 2015, the European Parliament was expected to ratify a Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) regulation for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping. This briefing details how shipping emissions have increased by approximately 70% since 1990 and the EU's track record on cutting these emissions. Under current policies, the IMO's GHG study forecasts shipping CO2 emissions to increase by 50% to 250% by 2050, which would then represent between 6% to 14% of total global emissions. While emissions from other sectors have started declining or are looking to peak in 2020, none of the “business as usual” scenarios for shipping foresee a decline in shipping emissions before 2050. The EU has promised measures for shipping emissions three times since 2009 and the Commission’s communication on Energy Union made it clear that all sources of emissions should contribute to the EU 2030 reduction target.

Electrification strategy: a shift to sustainable e­-mobility

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This paper sets out why a cross-vehicle, cross-modal strategy to accelerate the electrification of transport – a shift towards sustainable e-mobility – should be an essential part of Europe’s ambition to achieve an energy union. It would also bring the benefits of reduced oil imports and transport CO2 emissions as well as stimulate innovation and jobs.

The revised FQD: weakened proposal must still be implemented

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This briefing looks at the main features of the 2014 proposal too implement Article 7a of the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD). Despite weakening – due to intense lobbying by the Canadian and US governments and oil companies – some of the elements of the 2014 proposal are worth implementing and strengthening, such as the new reporting of crude oil imports by market crude oil names (MCONs). In addition, the 2014 proposal gives fuel suppliers new ways to meet the FQD target, such as promoting low-carbon electricity used in transport.

2014 Mind the Gap report: manipulation of fuel economy test results by carmakers

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This paper details how the current system of testing cars to measure fuel economy and CO2 emissions is not fit for purpose. The gap between test results and real-world performance has become a chasm, increasing from 8% in 2001 to 31% in 2013 for private motorists. Mercedes cars have the biggest gap between test and real world performance, and less than 20% of the improvement in emissions measured in tests of Opel/Vauxhall cars is realised on the road.

Realistic real-world driving emissions tests: a last chance for diesel cars?

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Air pollution emissions limits for cars, vans and trucks (Euro Standards) have been progressively tightened, on paper, over 25 years but have failed to deliver real-world improvements for several key pollutants, notably nitrogen dioxide. This is because obsolete tests and “cycle beating” techniques have been used by carmakers leading to levels of emissions from some cars many times higher on the road than in laboratory tests. In October 2014, the Commission will be discussing progress and next steps with EU member states. This paper outlines key issues for member states to ensure that the new real-world (PEMS) tests are robust and representative of real-world driving in order for emissions to decline on the road. 

Ending lorries' deadly track record: a matter of (direct) vision

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Lorries are involved in 4,200 fatal accidents in Europe every year. Many of the fatalities are vulnerable road users such as cyclists or pedestrians. Poor driver vision and lorry blind spots are a major cause of accidents. Unlike passenger cars, there are no direct vision requirements for lorries and regulators have instead focused on mirrors to reduce blind spots.

Tackling real world emissions from cars

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Light duty vehicles (LDVs) emit more pollutants on the road than in laboratory conditions. In order to solve this problem the Commission decided to introduce complementary type-approval procedures to measure gaseous and particulate emissions during real driving to make sure that they are similar to legal emission limits. To achieve this, the Real-Driving Emissions-Light Duty Vehicles (RDE-LDV) working group was created in 2011. Work in this group is currently focused on RDE tests during initial type approval.

This paper has been prepared by T&E to aid the work of this group. The paper considers the main topics of discussion: data analysis methods, boundary conditions, conformity factor, equipment (portable emissions measurement system – PEMS) and scope.

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