Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes the draft report and recommendations of the European Parliament’s investigation into the Volkswagen emissions testing scandal, known as the EMIS committee. The draft Dieselgate report, presented by co-rapporteurs MEPs Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy and Jens Gieseke, rightly identifies the key failures of national regulators to implement the current rules on vehicle testing: failure to independently test cars in order to verify cars’ performance on the road; failure to search for illegal defeat devices despite clear obligations to do so; and failure to put in place and apply dissuasive penalties on car manufacturers.
By Greg Archer, clean vehicles directorWHAT WE LEARNED IN 2016: After many false dawns, 2016 is the year electric cars showed they are on a path to rapidly replacing the infernal combustion engine. There are now more than half a million battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles on Europe’s roads, and annual sales are expected to top 1.5% of the market for the first time. While the figures are modest, Dieselgate has created an EV earthquake, shaking carmakers from their complacency.
By William Todts, freight and climate directorWHAT WE LEARNED IN 2016: “So what did you learn in 2016? And could you write a blog about it?" asked our communications officer.Silence. My God, where do I start, I thought. First Brexit, then Trump, and before all that there were people bombed on the metro in my hometown. What a year! But I can't write a doom and gloom Christmas blog.Then somehow I started thinking about this one thing that had really surprised me. A year ago I was campaigning to get the EU to introduce truck CO2 standards and, frankly, things weren’t looking great. Yes, there had been the Paris agreement, but still the odds were stacked against us. The Commission just didn't want to budge and the truck industry seemed all-powerful.
The number of people dying on Europe’s roads nearly halved between 2000 and 2010. However, this spectacular progress has now grinded to a halt. In 2013, 4,000 people died on our roads. Since then until today fatality numbers have remained stable. For already several years the European Commission has promised to come up with a revision of the General Safety Regulation (GSR) which is completely outdated but so far nothing is on the table. Standards set in the GSR would apply to all new vehicles produced and sold in the EU. The GSR is therefore a key instrument to drive vehicle safety developments and accelerate market uptake of and investment in new lifesaving designs and technologies.
The Commission is currently drafting its “road initiative”, which consists of two main objectives: one is the protection of the rights of truck drivers and the other is a promotional mechanism to encourage a cleaner freight transport system. If done properly, this will have a positive impact on ending the exploitation of foreign truck drivers while also reducing CO2 emissions from road transport. However, vans simply bypass all of these laws and, if the Commission fails to address this, it could open the door to the further exploitation of drivers and result in dirtier and more congested roads.
Discussing benefits, risks and potential of electrifying city logistics and public transportation, this event addresses representatives of member states, the European Commission and Members of the European Parliament.
Electric Vehicle (EV) sales in Europe doubled in 2015 to 145,000 new sales;
Europe is the second biggest EV market in the world;
Renault-Renault is the world’s biggest producer of battery electric cars;
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV the biggest selling model in Europe;
Netherlands and Norway lead the pack in sales.
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.
The European haulage industry and green groups have jointly called for stricter rules for vans as transport carried out by vans continues to increase. In a letter, the organisations ask that the Commission uses its upcoming road package to level the playing field between vans and trucks.
As Dieselgate turns one year old, a new study by Transport & Environment (T&E) reveals that Volkswagen is currently selling the least polluting (Euro 6) diesel vehicles. Nonetheless, the marque caught cheating in the US also has the most grossly polluting Euro 5 vehicles on the road, which were sold between 2011 and 2015. The better performance of Volkswagen Euro 6 cars has nothing to do with the Dieselgate, but with better technology choices made before the scandal burst. The report Dieselgate: Who? What? How? also found that not one single brand complies with the latest air pollution limits (‘Euro 6’) for diesel cars and vans in real-world driving.