Commission announces weakened van CO2 limits

The European Commission has finally announced plans to introduce new fuel efficiency standards for vans.

[mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]According to the legal proposal, the average new van sold in Europe in 2016 should emit 175g CO2/km. This represents a 14% reduction over nine years on the 2007 level of 203 g/km. Yet, the best diesel cars have improved by up to 27% over the last two years, T&E argues that the technology developed for cars can also be used for vans.

From 2014-2016, the target will be ‘phased in’, effectively allowing van manufacturers to only declare their cleanest models. However, in a non-binding February 2007 policy document (2) the European Commission said the 175g/km target for vans should be met by 2012, with a second target of 160g/km by 2015; today’s proposal therefore represents a four-year delay. The Commission has also postponed plans to include minibuses, a further weakening.

Fuel efficiency and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are directly linked.

Kerstin Meyer of Transport & Environment said: "Europe is facing a climate and energy crisis that will have serious repercussions for decades to come. We need to start cutting carbon now, not in 2016. The EU is once again weakening vehicle fuel efficiency standards, one of the most important tools for tackling carbon emissions and oil use. As a way out of this crisis, it would be far better to invest precious financial resources in low carbon technology than to waste them on importing oil."

"EU governments have spent billions in recent months on subsidies for new vehicles, bailouts for automotive companies, and taxpayer-backed loans for the development of low carbon vehicle technology. By lobbying against fuel efficiency standards, the automotive industry is showing that it is more than happy to take taxpayers' money and run."

The proposal also indicates a long term target of 135 g/km by 2020. But the language on the target indicates it is not fixed and could still be reviewed.

Meyer said: “Medium and long term targets are absolutely crucial to ensuring we achieve meaningful CO2 reductions. They are also important for long term strategic planning within the automotive industry. The language on the long-term target should leave no room for debate.”

(1) The 27% improvement figure is for the 2009 Golf BlueMotion, compared to the equivalent 2007 model. See examples of best-in-class diesel car improvements in the T&E vans and CO2 briefing.

(2) See:

Contact the press team

Nico Muzi
Communications Director
+32 (0)484 27 87 91

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