The European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (ENVI) is currently considering a Commission proposal [COM (2011) 856] for a Regulation on the sound levels of motor vehicles. The proposal, if adopted, will replace the existing vehicle noise directive (70/157/EEC), including enforcing tighter noise emission limits for cars, vans, lorries and buses and updating the testing method. Parliament is also considering how, on average, new cars should achieve a CO2 limit of 95g/km as stipulated in Regulation (EC) No 443/2009. Concerns have been raised that making vehicles quieter is in conflict with making them more fuel efficient and lowering CO2 emissions.
This briefing paper outlines the evidence based upon a study by TNO, independent experts that advise the Commission on both noise and CO2 regulations. Results show that synergies between making cars more fuel efficient and quieter outweigh any conflict generated.