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The case for 2025 targets for CO2 emissions from cars and vans - Report

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The EU has set a legally-binding target for new cars to emit no more than 95 grammes of CO2 per kilometre (g/km) by 2020. The target for vans is 147g/km. In July 2012, the European Commission announced its proposals on how these targets should be met. These proposals are currently being considered by the European Parliament and Council. The Commission did not propose further standards for 2025.This briefing outlines the arguments for setting strong 2025 targets and explains why industry arguments for delaying these targets are unfounded and would set back progress. It is based on new research by consultancy Ricardo-AEA (also downloadable in this page) as well as other evidence.

The right utility parameter – mass or footprint (or both)?

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In 2009, the EU set legally-binding targets for new cars to emit 130 grams of CO2 per kilometer (g/km) by 2015 and 95g/km in 2020.  In July, the Commission announced the outcome of its review of the modalities (ways) of achieving the 2020 target. The regulation takes account of the “utility” or purpose of the cars produced by different manufacturers whose targets therefore vary. In 2009, the EU agreed to account for the utility of the vehicles and set targets for individual manufacturers by comparing the average weight (mass) of the cars they produce. This was largely because data was not available on the average size (footprint) of registered cars until 2011. The Commission’s new proposal is to continue to use mass as a measure of utility until 2020 in order to minimize changes to the regulation. 

A win/win/win situation – more fuel-efficient cars are quieter cars

New research commissioned by T&E has confirmed that measures aimed at improving fuel efficiency also reduce vehicle noise. The report was published just days before the environment committee of the European Parliament voted to tighten existing noise standards for vehicles, narrowly defeating an alternative proposal that would have allowed much louder cars, buses and lorries.

At least a third of official car CO2 reductions are not real

A new report for the Commission suggests about a third of reported carbon dioxide emissions reductions from new cars since 2002 have not happened. T&E says this results in drivers being ‘cheated’ out of the benefits of lower fuel costs, as well as higher emissions of greenhouse gases.

Electric cars that don’t need charging

A Japanese academic has developed an innovative way of making electric cars more attractive – having them charge their battery as they drive along the road. Based on the assumption that what is holding back electric cars is the need to carry an expensive and heavy battery that takes a long time to charge and then offers either a short distance or a low speed, Takashi Ohira at the Toyohashi University of Technology has built a 0.3%-scale electric car that picks up electricity from electrodes buried beneath the road surface as it drives along.

No need to provide CO2 information?

T&E’s Belgian member Inter-Environnement Wallonie (IEW) has warned that the EU law requiring car manufacturers to give information on CO2 emissions from new cars has no teeth. IEW has given up a four-year fight, during which it complained to the Commission on several occasions that car makers are blatantly ignoring directive 1999/94, which makes it obligatory to give fuel economy and emissions information where new cars are sold. 

European Parliament vote for quieter vehicles a sound investment

After three postponements (1), the Environment Committee of the European Parliament has voted for tighter future noise limits for vehicles. The standards of future noise limit values was accepted in a tight vote defeating an alternative proposal that would have allowed much louder sports cars, buses and trucks onto the road.

Measures to improve fuel efficiency also reduce vehicle noise, T&E report reveals

After three postponements the Environment Committee of the European Parliament will finally vote next week on noise limits for vehicles. Contrary to industry concerns, a new report published today by Transport & Environment (T&E), Europe’s sustainable transport campaigners, shows that making cars more fuel efficient is fully compatible with making them quieter too.

Road Vehicle Noise versus fuel consumption and pollutants emissions

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In the context of the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) vote on a Commission proposal [COM (2011) 856] for a Regulation on the sound levels of motor vehicles, this new study from TNO, independent experts that advise the Commission on both noise and CO2 regulations, shows that synergies between making cars mo

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