The use of palm oil for EU biofuels dwarfs the amount used to make cookies, hazelnut spreads, ice cream, shampoo, lipsticks – and other food and cosmetic products. That’s according to new industry data which shows diesel cars and trucks burned 51% of all the palm oil used in Europe in 2017.
Electrification and ambitious CO2 standards for Europe's cars are key to decarbonising transport – the sector that needs to do the heavy lifting to meet the Paris climate targets.
The European Parliament will vote next week on whether to strengthen the proposal for Europe’s key climate law, the so-called Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) – or ‘Climate Action Regulation’, the name agreed by the environment committee. MEPs will be asked to back a more ambitious starting point than the European Commission’s proposal and to close some loopholes to ensure member states actually reduce their emissions.
New cars consume on average 42% more fuel on the road than advertised in sales brochures, according to T&E’s latest Mind the Gap report. Despite auto industry claims of their vehicles’ ever-improving fuel economy, the gap between real-world fuel consumption and official figures has grown from 28% in 2012 and 14% a decade ago.
The supply of electric vehicles to the British market could dry up when the UK leaves the EU, according to a new study by T&E. This is because sales of electric cars in a post-Brexit British market will not count towards a carmaker’s EU CO2 targets. The study also suggests up to 6,700 British automotive workers could lose their jobs in the event of a ‘hard Brexit’.
An action plan to drive the production, reuse and recycling of lithium-ion batteries in the EU has been published by the European Commission. T&E has welcomed the strategy, but says parallel measures to ensure carmakers sell a minimum number of electric vehicles are needed if Europe is to make the most out of the economic potential of electric cars.
Six EU countries are being taken to court for failing to tackle repeated breaches of air quality limits. T&E said the legal action by the European Commission is a long-overdue and welcome step. Germany, France and the UK face penalties for years of allowing breaches of limits on toxic NO2 emissions while Italy, Romania and Hungary failed to tackle harmful and illegal levels of particulates (PM10). Spain, however, has got away with a warning.
Almost all carmakers will comply with the EU’s 2021 CO2 emissions reduction targets – despite the auto industry’s claims to the contrary, a new analysis by T&E has found. All European carmakers – with the exception of Fiat, Hyundai and Honda – will only need to sell small numbers of plug-in vehicles in order to achieve their targets, with most only needing to make moderate use of flexibilities in the car CO2 regulation to avoid fines.
Milan is aiming to ban diesel cars from the city from 2025 following a campaign carried out in 2017 involving volunteer researchers led by T&E member Cittadini per l’Aria. The campaign model has proved very successful and is being used in three other cities throughout Italy this year and possibly more in 2019.
Evidence from Norway and other countries suggests the biggest obstacle to speeding up the electrification of road transport could be a lack of e-vehicles. Incentives to encourage people to go electric, coupled with advances in EV technology, have generated a level of demand that the supply of electric cars cannot match.