The Environment Committee of the European Parliament will vote next week on noise limits for vehicles. The compromise proposal put forward by the lead MEP has been drafted by sports car manufacturer Porsche.
Harmful levels of air pollution are endemic in European cities, especially close to roads, causing 400,000 premature deaths annually and costing the EU a whopping €1 trillion a year. This paper focuses on the role played by diesel cars in the air pollution crisis and identifies obsolete tests and optimisation strategies by car manufacturers as the reasons they have failed to deliver real-world improvements. It explores the Commission’s proposed new real-world driving (RDE) test, which is to be implemented for new Euro 6 standard vehicles, and outlines a timetable to address important issues relating to air pollution from cars.
The European Commission is coming under increasing pressure to propose new car fuel economy targets for 2025 after news that carmakers which account for three-quarters of sales in Europe are on track to meet their goals for 2021.
Electric vehicle (EV) sales grew to 67,000 vehicles in 2014, up from just 700 in 2010, which T&E’s analysis found was partly the result of more major car companies offering EV models in the market. However, they still only represent 0.5% of the total annual sales, in part as a result of limited supply of models (just 20 are available). Some manufacturers – most notably Ford and Fiat – are not supplying any models.
While new cars sold in 2014 averaged CO2 emissions of 123g/km, according to the How Cleans are Europe's cars 2015? report, real-world emissions are much higher and reductions in CO2 are happening considerably slower than depicted. Now T&E is warning that the cheating will continue to undermine progress even after a new test, the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedures (WLTP), is introduced.
The current system for testing car CO2 emissions and fuel economy, the NEDC, is obsolete.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.
France has launched its new air pollution categorisation scheme for cars, with a strong emphasis in favour of electric vehicles over diesel. But the effectiveness of the scheme could be limited by the fact that it is only voluntary, and it is uncertain how many benefits will result for those with the cleanest cars.
Air pollution is costing more than $160 billion (€143 billion) a year in lost productivity, according to new data released by the World Bank. The data also show that air pollution has its greatest impact in poorer countries.
In these documents, T&E responds to the public consultations on the EU Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) and Land use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF). As transport is currently the largest sector within the ESD, it is vital to have a strong ESD with limited flexibilities to avoid watering down the EU climate targets and to achieve reductions in the transport sector. The way LULUCF is dealt with is also fundamental to avoiding a decrease in the level of ambition in sectors such as transport. For these reasons, T&E provided input to both consultations in close coordination with other environmental NGOs.
This briefing paper explains why setting 2025 CO2 standards for cars and vans offers benefits for drivers in lower fuel costs, job creation, energy security and tackling climate change. It is available in full and summarised versions. The paper highlights how the EU is falling behind in developing advanced efficient powertrains compared to competitors in Asia; and that due to testing flexibilities by 2021 the average vehicle is still likely to emit 150g CO2/km – meaning less than half of the anticipated savings through the regulation will be delivered.