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.
In November 2016 the Commission presented its new proposal for a Renewable Energy Directive in the 2021-2030 period. The main elements of the proposal on transport are to reduce the cap on food and feed-based biofuels to 3.8% in 2030 and to establish a mandate on fuel suppliers, requiring them to blend 6.8% of advanced fuels by 2030 (T&E’s position on biofuels in the RED can be found here).
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.
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 briefing explains how the new type approval proposal is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to strengthen the European vehicle and component testing system, and that while the proposal is a good start, it is missing key elements needed to make it truly effective.
The current system for testing car CO2 emissions and fuel economy, the NEDC, is obsolete. Thankfully, a new test, the WLTP, is scheduled to replace the NEDC in 2017. To do this, the average CO2 emissions target for cars (95 g/km for 2020/1) needs to be revised in a way that maintains “equivalent stringency” between the tests.
In these documents, T&E responds to the public consultations on the EU Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) and Land use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF). As transport is currently the largest sector within the ESD, it is vital to have a strong ESD with limited flexibilities to avoid watering down the EU climate targets and to achieve reductions in the transport sector. The way LULUCF is dealt with is also fundamental to avoiding a decrease in the level of ambition in sectors such as transport. For these reasons, T&E provided input to both consultations in close coordination with other environmental NGOs.
This briefing paper explains why setting 2025 CO2 standards for cars and vans offers benefits for drivers in lower fuel costs, job creation, energy security and tackling climate change. It is available in full and summarised versions. The paper highlights how the EU is falling behind in developing advanced efficient powertrains compared to competitors in Asia; and that due to testing flexibilities by 2021 the average vehicle is still likely to emit 150g CO2/km – meaning less than half of the anticipated savings through the regulation will be delivered.