This is T&E's report on why Europe’s obsession with diesel cars is bad for its economy, its drivers and the environment.
The EU is negotiating trade deals with Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), Indonesia, and soon Malaysia, These trade deals represent a risk for the EU’s sustainable transport plans. All mentioned countries are producers and exporters of crop-based biofuels, especially from palm and soybean oil that have higher overall emissions than fossil diesel. All ongoing negotiations include chapters on energy and raw materials.
This report, released on the first anniversary of the Dieselgate scandal, exposes the shocking number of dirty diesel cars on the EU’s roads and the feeble regulation of cars by national authorities that have focused on protecting their own commercial interests or those of domestic carmakers. In the US, following the disclosure that VW had cheated emissions tests, justice has been swiftly and effectively delivered. This is in stark contrast to Europe where VW claims it has not acted illegally, no penalties have been levied and no compensation has been provided to customers.
This briefing collates a range of evidence and shows that carmakers are failing to achieve their own targets for sales of battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. It also shows that the very limited choice of electric cars, long waiting times to receive cars, limited availability and crucially a lack of marketing investment are contributing for carmakers’ lack of sales.
This report examines the difference between the official laboratory test results and real-world CO2 emissions and fuel economy of cars. It shows the current system has totally failed and explains how to fix the problems. The difference between official laboratory test results and real-world car performance is growing uncontrollably jumping from 9% in 2001 to 28% in 2012 and 42% in 2015. It is expected to reach 50% before 2020.
Tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) designed to alert the driver when their tyres are deflating or at a dangerously low pressure have been mandatory in passenger cars in Europe since 2014. T&E has long been aware that the 'indirect' type of TPMS fails to deliver in real-world driving conditions, and is concerned that such systems could be optimised to pass the regulatory test but fail to perform appropriately on the road. We commissioned a set of tests on two vehicles equipped with such indirect systems to check their effectiveness. Both cars failed to pass most of the tests that slightly diverged from the prescribed protocol.
Electro-mobility offers an unequalled solution to make Europe’s transport more efficient and less polluting. But the market for electric vehicles (EVs - both battery and plug-in hybrids) has had several false dawns. Finally in 2015, sales of electric cars reached the important milestone of a 1% market share. Overall electric car sales doubled in 2015 to 145,000. The most recent data in 2016 suggests further growth in 2016. Sales year to date suggest significantly more than 200,000 plug-in vehicles will be sold in Europe this year taking the total number of EVs on the road to more than 500,000.
This summer, the European Commission will present new targets for member states’ Effort Sharing Decision sectors for the period 2021 to 2030 and publish a communication on decarbonising transport. The ESD sets an overall EU climate target of -30% by 2030 below 2005 levels for sectors not included under the EU emissions trading system (non-ETS emissions) – mainly surface transport, buildings and agriculture. The ESD requires member states to limit their GHG emissions by meeting individual binding annual limits. This ‘recipe for Spain’ serves as a guideline on how to reduce emissions from transport and secure the climate target.
This summer, the European Commission will present new targets for member states’ Effort Sharing Decision sectors for the period 2021 to 2030 and publish a communication on decarbonising transport. Germany’s anticipated 2030 reduction target for all sectors covered by the ESD will be -39%. Thus, Germany will have to decrease its transport emissions to 97 MtCO2 eq by 2030. This ‘recipe for Germany’ serves as a guideline on how to reduce emissions from transport and secure the climate target.
The gap between petrol and diesel taxes in Europe is quite unique in the world and is the main reason why diesel engines have taken off in Europe and not worldwide. This study analyses fuel price and tax trends since 1980 and adds a specific analysis of diesel tax paid by trucks. It finds that in 2014 the gap in tax levels for diesel and petrol paid by motorists was €0.14/l, which is 30% lower than petrol per unit of energy or tonne of CO2.