In response to congestion and high local pollution cities are increasingly using vehicle access restrictions to limit the number of cars on their roads and ensure those which grossly pollute are not allowed in. Following the dieselgate emissions scandal (that exposed the failure of modern diesel vehicles to adequately control toxic fumes when operated on the road), there is a new focus on deploying Low Emission Zones and Diesel Bans. Today there are around 40 million grossly polluting diesel cars and vans on the EU’s roads but national vehicle approval authorities remain reluctant to mandate manufacturers to implement fixes.
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.
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).
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.
The Climate Action Regulation (CAR), known previously as the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) will become part of European law in 2018. This paper analyses the different elements agreed in the soon-to-become law, and assesses the role played by different parties involved in the process, with the objective of making public something that normally only a few have access to.
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.
Almost two years since the type approval reform was proposed, the European Parliament, member states and the European Commission are entering the final negotiations to agree the post-Dieselgate rules for approving cars. The third meeting is scheduled for 23 November and this briefing (in English and Spanish) summarises the key elements of a robust regulation that need to emerge from the discussions.
This briefing for MEPs, ahead of a plenary debate on the European Commission’s '2nd Mobility Package', provides details on the proposed car and van CO2 target for 2025 and 2030 and why these lack the necessary ambition to meet the EU’s climate goals, specifically:• There will be a slow down in emissions cuts after 2021;• There is no ZEV mandate or penalty for failing to hit the goal;• There is no effective means to prevent test manipulation such as a real-world test.The briefing also provides information on the strengths and weaknesses of other elements of the package – the Clean Vehicles Directive and Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Action Plan – and suggests areas of questioning for the Commission.