Some delivery trucks have blind spots up to 1.9 metres even though the best in their class have virtually none and could save hundreds of pedestrian and cyclists’ lives , according to the latest study by the Loughborough Design School. It finds huge differences in the direct vision – what drivers can see with their own eyes – of best and worst-in-class trucks in all categories, and that ‘low-entry cabs’ like the Mercedes Econic out perform all of today’s best performing vehicles.
Europe is falling behind in the race to make the most of the electromobility revolution. That is the conclusion from news that the EU is trailing China in investment in e-vehicles, coupled with a T&E report that shows European carmakers are failing to meet their own EV sales targets because of poor marketing and availability of cars for consumers.
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’.
Diesel cars and trucks burned more than half (51%) of all the palm oil used in Europe in 2017 - a 13.5% rise in palm biodiesel over the previous year - new data from OILWORLD, the industry reference for vegetable oils markets, released today by T&E shows. Since the introduction of an EU law to promote biofuels in 2009, palm oil used to make biofuel has steadily increased from 825,000 tonnes in 2008 to 3.9 million tonnes in 2017. The use of palm oil for biodiesel dwarfs palm oil use in other products such as cookies, chocolate spreads, shampoo or lipsticks, which combined add up to 39% of total use in 2017 - the lowest point in the past decade.
The EU is entering in the final round of negotiations on the REDII. One of the outstanding issues to be agreed between EU Parliament, the Council and Commission is palm oil biodiesel. In January 2018 the Parliament voted in favor of phasing out support to biodiesel based on palm oil as of 2021, which is a step in the right direction. However, this decision is being contested by the Council and also by the palm oil-producing countries - especially Malaysia and Indonesia.
Biofuels are top of the EU agenda these days. And that’s not just because we’re headed for the final trilogue discussions on the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) but also because of biofuels interfering with Europe’s trade relations. Led by Indonesia and Malaysia a group of countries are threatening the EU with Trump style trade wars after the European Parliament voted to disqualify palm oil biodiesel from the EU’s clean fuels regulation after 2020. At the same time the EU is trying to negotiate a series of trade deals with a number of these countries.
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.
Efforts to tackle air pollution caused by diesel cars are moving the problem east rather than solving it. That is the conclusion of an analysis by T&E to coincide with Bulgaria’s presidency of the EU. Another T&E report suggests that efforts to clean up the air in western European cities are less effective than they should be because decisions on restricting certain car types are not based on real-world emissions.
Decisions that affect EU environmental legislation need to be far more transparent and open to public discussion. This is the argument at the heart of two legal actions initiated this month concerning a new global CO2 emissions standard for aircraft.
Last week’s confirmation that the average CO2 emissions of a new car sold in the EU increased in 2017 is the result of carmakers selling more SUVs, crossovers and more powerful vehicles, T&E’s study shows. The European Environment Agency (EEA) reported a small but expected rise in new car CO2 emissions of 0.4g/km.