This paper presents evidence to dispel many of the myths about electric vehicles and explains why they are key to reducing CO2 emissions from personal mobility.
The biggest failure of the current car CO2 has been the failure to deliver emissions reductions on the road. Whilst new car CO2 emissions measured using the obsolete laboratory test (NEDC) have fallen by 31% since 2000, on the road the reduction is just, 11%. The gap between test and real-world performance has leapt from 9 to 42% weakening the regulation, increasing CO2 emissions and raising fuel bills for drivers. The underlying issue was basing the regulation on laboratory tests. Whilst the new WLTP addresses some loopholes, its introduction also creates new flexibilities that the car industry are planning to exploit to undermine both the current regulation to 2020/1 and proposed future regulations for 2025/30.
Light commercial vehicles, or vans, are a neglected area of EU road transport policy as they are often exempt from safety and environmental policy such as driving regulations or tolls, compared to their direct competitors, trucks. This enhances their attractiveness and in part explains why their use and emissions are growing. CO2 standards for van makers are much weaker than for cars, as a result van makers do not deploy the same efficient and innovative technologies to vans to lower their emissions.
The average car sits unused for more than 90% of the time, carries on average just one and a half people and costs, on average, €6,500 a year to own and run. Each car occupies 150m2 of urban land and still this is not the full bill – congestion costs the EU economy €100 billion annually. The convenience that made the car a 20th century icon has been eroded by its popularity.
The European Parliament, Council and the Commission are in the final stage of negotiations on the 2025/2030 CO2 standards for new cars and vans. This briefing analyses the impact of the two Council amendments to change the counting of zero and low emission vehicles (ZLEVs).
This briefing summarises the results of a citizens survey undertaken by Ipsos Mori for Transport & Environment (T&E) examining attitudes towards low-carbon and electric cars across Europe. The survey was undertaken during the first two weeks of September 2018 in nine European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Sweden.
Road transport contributes over 35% of the emissions covered within the Climate Action Regulation that sets member state targets for reducing GHG emissions for sectors outside of the Emissions Trading Scheme by 2030. Cutting emissions from new cars, vans and trucks through EU regulation is one of the simplest, and politically most acceptable ways, to reduce surface transport emissions.
Transport is Europe’s biggest source of CO2 emissions. Road transport represents three-quarters of transport emissions; and cars and vans three-quarters of these. It is therefore surprising that rather than seeking to aggressively drive down emissions from Europe’s cars and vans, Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and his department are making claims that repeatedly mislead the co-decision makers in the Parliament and Council about the impact of its proposals for post-2020 CO2 targets for new cars and vans. The defensive moves of the Commissioner and his department have been to discredit electric cars and warn of job losses. But his claims are not supported by the evidence including the analysis of the Commission’s own impact assessment – this paper matches the claims to the evidence.
Mobility is at a crossroads and in each of the key three revolutions, automation, sharing and electrification of cars, Europe is falling behind. China has secured seven times more investments in electric vehicle manufacturing than the EU has in the last year only. Based on public announcements, China has received over EUR 21.7 billion of investment to produce electric vehicles while the EU secured only EUR 3.2 billion, seven times less. Front runners the Volkswagen Group, Daimler AG and Nissan have provided the bulk of the investment in China, driven by the aggressive electric vehicle policy. This policy requires carmakers to obtain credits for the production of EVs that are equivalent to 10% of the overall passenger car market in 2019 and 12% in 2020.
Sufficient accessible charging infrastructure is a key enabler for the accelerated uptake of electric cars. This briefing analyses the current and planned future roll-out of EV charging infrastructure in European Member States, based governments’ plans (National Policy Frameworks) submitted to the Commission as part of the implementation of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive.