Browse by topic: Publication, Cars


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.

Particle emissions from petrol cars

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Vehicle tests show that without the use of gasoline particulate filters (GPF) the number of particles emitted from gasoline direct injection (GDI) engines is likely to exceed future European emissions limits, known as Euro 6 standards. Nowadays, particle emissions from these new petrol engines are higher than equivalent diesel vehicles. The cost of a filter to eliminate particle emissions is low (around €40), with no fuel economy penalty. Despite this, carmakers are delaying fitting filters on GDI cars and instead rely on manipulating tests. Their reluctance is worsening urban air pollution and reducing the health benefits of the new limits.

Tackling emissions from diesel machines

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European air pollution rules for diesel machines such as bulldozers, excavators and barges are much more lax than those for cars and lorries. As well as this, some engine types and older machines are excluded from air pollution law. This is a problem because, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), diesel exhaust is carcinogenic. Ambitious, comprehensive and consistent rules are needed to limit air pollution emissions from non-road mobile machinery (NRMM - diesel machines). These are required to address the growing urban air pollution that Europe faces. T&E believes that future EU legislation on diesel machines must be in line with emissions limits for equivalent road vehicles.

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.

Vehicle noise: final trilogue negotiations

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Traffic noise is the second-biggest environmental factor affecting Europeans’ health after air pollution. Almost half of EU citizens are regularly exposed to road traffic noise over the level that the World Health Organisation considers to pose a serious risk to health. Noise pollution has been linked to 50,000 fatal heart attacks every year in Europe. This briefing outlines the European Commission, Parliament and Council positions on a proposal for new vehicle noise standards ahead of a third round of trilogue negotiations on 5 November, 2013. It also outlines T&E's analysis of the main issues as well as its recommendations for a compromise that avoids legal and technical loopholes.