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CO2 emissions from new cars in Europe: Country Ranking in 2013

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This report is part of the eighth annual report T&E has published on progress in reducing CO2 emissions and improving the fuel efficiency of cars. This document focuses on average new car emissions in different Member States and highlights the effectiveness (or otherwise) of their different taxation policies in encouraging the purchase of lower carbon cars.The principal responsibility to reduce CO₂ in line with the Regulation falls upon the carmakers. Each carmaker has a target for the CO2 emissions of the new cars it sells in 2015 and 2020/1. However, there is much that Member States can do to help (or hinder) progress through the policies that they adopt nationally. Substantial differences in the rate of progress of companies are mirrored by the Member States, principally because of differences in the ways cars are taxed across the EU. While some countries have made conspicuous efforts to improve the fuel economy of their new cars, others have done very little to support the aims of the cars and CO₂ legislation.In 2013, the top six best performing countries all achieved annual emissions reductions of new cars of more than 5% (Netherlands, Greece, Slovenia, France, Finland and Bulgaria). In contrast the laggards, including Sweden and Poland, achieved less than 2.5% improvement in average CO₂ emissions from 2012. Countries with low average emissions typically have initial registration taxes (purchase taxes) and company car taxes that are steeply differentiated by CO₂. Annual circulation taxes are a modest driver of fuel efficiency even if they are graduated according to CO2 emissions, and high fuel taxes alone have a limited influence on the efficiency of the cars being bought – but do impact on the overall level of car use and fuel consumption.Low levels of diesel tax encourage higher proportions of diesel car sales and more vehicle use. Fuel should be taxed on the basis of its energy content with similar rates of excise duty applied to gasoline and diesel fuels to avoid market distortions leading to dieselisation.To see a sample analysis of the performances of six Member States, download the factsheets here:DenmarkFranceGermanyNetherlandsSwedenUnited Kingdom

Remarks: European road toll systems for private vehicles

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Transport & Environment director Jos Dings addressed a hearing in the European Parliament on 4 November, 2014. He laid out T&E's position on European road toll systems for private vehicles, including environmental, financial, technical and privacy concerns. His remarks are available to download.

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.

Including transport in the ETS: Counterproductive and legally questionable

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This briefing summarises a legal analysis highlighting how the proposals are contrary to the requirements of the current ETS Directive. It also covers new research illustrating why including transport in the ETS would be counterproductive; compared with a scenario of ambitious post-2020 vehicle CO2 standards there would be 160,000 fewer jobs, and €22/77 billion higher oil imports in 2030/2050. Climate policy, as well as transport emissions reductions, would stall.

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. 

Three reasons why road transport in the ETS is a bad idea

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The EU is currently discussing its climate and energy policy for 2030. As part of these discussions German carmakers have been advocating the inclusion of road transport emissions in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). Some countries like Denmark also support the idea, although for different reasons. This briefing explains why transport’s inclusion in the ETS would delay emissions reductions in transport, undermine more effective climate policies for transport, and weaken the ETS and increase costs.

Electric Vehicles in 2013: a Progress Report

This is the second part of T&E’s annual Cars and CO2 report that examines developments in new car CO2 emissions. This part is focused on electric cars.Analysis of provisional cars sales data in 2013 supplied by the European Environment Agency shows the market for electric vehicles (EVs) continues to grow strongly from a low base. Sales have approximately doubled annually since production vehicles were first marketed in 2010. In 2013, nearly 50,000 plug-in vehicles were sold in the EU representing around 0.4% of all cars.

How clean are Europe’s cars 2014 – Part 1

The EU set legally-binding targets for new cars to emit on average 130 grams of CO₂ per kilometre (g/km) by 2015 and 95g/km by 2021. This briefing, the first part of T&E’s ‘How clean are Europe’s cars 2014’, analyses the official data from the European Environment Agency on progress towards these targets made by carmakers in 2013. The second and third part of the report will cover electric vehicles and supercredits as well as the gap between carmakers claimed fuel economy and the real world figure.

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.

Effect of the Lithuanian proposal to the European Parliament on car CO2 emissions targets

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In 2009, the EU set legally-binding targets for new cars to emit 130 grams of CO2 per kilometre (g/km) by 2015 and 95g/km in 2020. In July 2012, the European Commission announced the outcome of its review of the modalities (ways) of achieving the 2020 target; and in June 2013, a first-reading agreement was reached on the proposal. Following the agreement, a coalition of Member States led by Germany successfully delayed a vote in Council and then overturned the deal in the Environment Council. Lithuania has now developed a new proposal it plans to table to the European Parliament. This briefing describes how the Lithuanian proposal will delay meeting the 2020 target until 2024.

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