Carmakers’ plan to cut road transport emissions washes their hands of responsibility and ignores cost effective vehicle standards that will lower fuel bills for drivers, create jobs and lower oil imports. The need for vehicles CO2 targets is the key conclusion of a new study from the ICCT, the group which tipped off the US EPA about Volkswagen’s cheating last year. The study finds early introduction of standards for trucks and stringent new targets for cars and vans would alone result in CO2 savings of 17.4% on 2005 levels by 2030, making a sizable contribution to meeting EU targets to reduce emissions in non-ETS sectors.
In 2014, 45% of all the palm oil used in Europe ended up in the tanks of cars and trucks, data from EU vegetable oil industry association Fediol and obtained by green group Transport & Environment has revealed. This is equivalent to four Olympic-size swimming pools of palm oil every day.  It’s the first time that the sources of biodiesel in Europe have been made public.
This briefing details the feedstock used in biodiesel in Europe between 2010 and 2014. It is based on official industry data from Fediol obtained by T&E. The analysis shows that all of the 34% growth in EU biodiesel since 2010 comes from imported palm oil. The expansion of these plantations into natural rainforest is both having a devastating impact on biodiversity and causing net greenhouse gas emissions, to the effect that palm oil biodiesel is three times worse for the climate than fossil diesel.
An ETS with 85% free allowances, combined with the fuel tax and VAT exemptions, while charging buses and trains and thus distorting competition, is simply self-defeating. Member states and the European Commission vice-presidents must take responsibility for these failures and start to address aviation in a joined-up way, not via silos where directorates abrogate joint responsibility for addressing cross-cutting questions such as fuel tax, VAT or state-aid scandals. Non-CO2 emissions must be taken seriously and measures should be prepared.
Just 3% of fleet managers in Europe’s two biggest truck markets, France and Germany, have ever changed brands to get better fuel efficiency – and in Europe’s ‘big five’ markets only 13% have ever done so, according to a GiPA survey of small and medium enterprises. The figures do not come as a surprise after a 20-year stagnation in European truck fuel economy and EU efficiency standards are needed to strengthen competition in the market, said sustainable transport group Transport & Environment, which commissioned the survey.
Road freight CO2 emissions are the fastest growing segment of land transport emissions, both at EU and at global level. By 2030 heavy-duty vehicle emissions will account for almost 40% of road transport emissions. The European Commission is currently preparing a “decarbonisation of road transport strategy” in which it will outline its truck CO2 plans. To contribute to this debate T&E commissioned a market study surveying 180 SME hauliers in France, Germany, Poland, the UK and Spain.
· IKEA, Nestlé, Philips, DB Schenker, Deutsche Post DHL, Mercadona, Colruyt, Kingfisher among proponents of truck CO2 standards
Fuel efficiency standards for heavy-goods vehicles in Europe would save billions for businesses, lead to cheaper goods, protect the environment and boost energy independence, 19 global brands, logistics companies and green organisations, including IKEA, Nestlé, Philips, DB Schenker and Deutsche Post DHL , have told European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker.
Electric vehicles are becoming more and more competitive, mainly because battery prices have fallen 65% since 2010 and are forecasted to fall to $230 per kWh in 2017-2018. Batteries are also becoming more powerful as they gain in energy density. Moreover, these improvements were recently reinforced by other significant developments: the unveiling by Tesla of its Model 3 is making high-spec electric cars more accessible; and the Netherlands, Norway and Germany’s public support for the rollout of electric vehicles.
This briefing explains how the new type approval proposal is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to strengthen the European vehicle and component testing system, and that while the proposal is a good start, it is missing key elements needed to make it truly effective.