Britain’s supply of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles could dry up after Brexit as carmakers will lose a strong incentive to sell low-emission vehicles there, a new report has found. The UK was the third largest market for zero emission vehicles in the EU last year, and the largest for plug-in hybrids. But as British sales of these cars will no longer count towards carmakers’ EU CO2 targets after Brexit, they may choose not to sell them in the UK at all, according to the analysis by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E).
The automotive industry plays a vital role in the economy of the EU and the UK, representing a significant part of exports and employing millions of people. However, the UK departure from the EU Single Market on 29 March 2019 could inflict profound harm to its automotive industry and, consequently, to its economy. This report analyses the consequences of Britain's departure from the EU for the automotive sectors in the UK and Europe.
The strategic action plan on batteries launched today by the European Commission is key to decarbonising transport in the EU and – rightly – puts sustainably and responsibly sourced batteries at the heart of that transition, Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. The environmental NGO added that swiftly implementing this strategy will help Europe benefit from a market worth up to €250 billion a year that so far has been left to manufacturers in China and other regions.
Today’s decision to take six EU countries to court for failing to tackle repeated breaches of air quality limits is a long-overdue and welcome step, sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) had said. Germany, France and the UK for years allowed breaches of limits on toxic NO2 emissions while Italy, Romania and Hungary failed to tackle harmful and illegal levels of particulates (PM10). Separately, additional warnings were issued to Germany, the UK, Italy and Luxembourg for failing to take action against the millions of diesel cars with illegal defeat devices that allegedly cheated emissions tests.
This Thursday (17 May) the European Commission is expected to refer Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Hungary, and Romania to the European Court of Justice for their failure to tackle repeated breaches of EU air quality limits. It is also expected to take Germany, the UK, and Luxembourg to court for failing to take action against the VW group cars with illegal defeat devices. This media advisory sets out the background to these infringement proceedings and why they matter.
The EU has rowed back on plans to allow all third parties to test vehicles’ on-road air pollution after they have been sold. While green transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes the agreement  reached today by EU governments and the European Commission, it regrets that the final agreement no longer allows third parties other than technical labs to perform real-driving emissions tests and trigger action against poisonous NOx from cars. It was an independent test in the US that lead to the exposure of the Dieselgate scandal.
Almost all carmakers will comply with the EU’s 2021 CO2 emissions reduction targets – despite the auto industry’s claims to the contrary, a new analysis by T&E has found. All European carmakers – with the exception of Fiat, Hyundai and Honda – will only need to sell small numbers of plug-in vehicles in order to achieve their targets, with most only needing to make moderate use of flexibilities in the car CO2 regulation to avoid fines.
Milan is aiming to ban diesel cars from the city from 2025 following a campaign carried out in 2017 involving volunteer researchers led by T&E member Cittadini per l’Aria. The campaign model has proved very successful and is being used in three other cities throughout Italy this year and possibly more in 2019.
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.