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 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.
This briefing outlines how, more than a year since the VW scandal broke and almost a year since the new reform of EU testing system was proposed, there is minimal progress to tackle the legacy of dirty diesel cars on the road. No action whatsoever has been taken to reduce the emissions of 80% of the most grossly emitting diesel cars. Out of the 20% of cars subject to some recalls. The briefing also outlines how the latest leaked documents reveal that the majority of member states are also trying to block and weaken any future reform on the newly proposed Type Approval Framework Regulation, stripping the Commission of any powers to do independent checks on in-use vehicles.
The automotive sector is on the brink of a major disruption and car makers are about to see “... more change in the next five years than [we’ve seen] in the last 50 years.” One of these shifts is from internal combustion engines to electric mobility.
This new study by Christian Berggren and Per Kågeson for T&E provides a comprehensive study of benefits and challenges for Europe to electrify its vehicle fleet.
In 2015, Groupe PSA, Transport & Environment (T&E), France Nature Environnement (FNE) and Bureau Veritas announced plans to measure and publish real-life fuel economy information for PSA vehicles. Unlike most other fuel economy measurements, the tests were to be performed on the road using a Portable Emissions Monitoring System (PEMS).
The introduction of the new car tests, the WLTP and RDE tests, marks an important milestone in the battle to ensure cars comply with environmental limits on the road and to end the cheating that has become endemic in emissions testing. But, as this briefing outlines, new tests are not a panacea and will need to be further refined to ensure they are really representative of how cars are driven. The forthcoming decisions on how and who approves cars for sale will be key to ensuring the system of approvals is independent and rigorously enforced.
T&E are calling on the Commission to promote distance-based charging for passenger cars in the upcoming review of the Eurovignette Directive. This position paper and summary briefing paper detail how charging road users for every kilometre that they drive can be a means to promote smarter transport behaviour and, if implemented correctly, increase the uptake of cleaner vehicles.
A joint plenary letter, on behalf of POLIS, HEAL, EEB, ClientEarth and Transport & Environment, calling for the establishment of an independent EU authority to check vehicles as part of the Type Approval reform.