The Environment Committee of the European Parliament today voted to limit the speed of vans to 120kph. MEPs also voted to introduce stricter new targets for van fuel economy and CO2 emissions in 2025 but rejected tightening a weak 2020 target.
Capping van speed will encourage supply of smaller engines, reducing average van fuel consumption and emissions by at least 6%. Consumer surveys in Germany, Italy, the UK and the Netherlands show strong public support for the measure.
T&E clean vehicles policy officer William Todts said: “Vans were the only commercial vehicles that were not speed-limited. Limiting the speed of vans to 120kph will save fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is a good day for drivers, responsible businesses and the environment.”
Regrettably, MEPs rejected tightening the current 147g CO2/km vans target for 2020 that has been widely regarded as much weaker than the equivalent target for cars. Business organisations had called for this target to be strengthened. Recent research has shown the original 147g decision was based upon wrong information about how much CO2 vans were thought to emit and exaggerated costs of reducing this.
In other votes, MEPs helpfully updated procedures for measuring van CO2 emissions to be consistent with similar legislation approved last week for cars. The update on the test procedures will help reduce the wide gap between the official fuel economy figures and those achieved by drivers on the road.
MEPs also supported a very limited system to encourage electric vans through so-called ‘supercredits’ but strongly capped the amount this could weaken the regulation.
More encouraging, MEPs voted in favour of an indicative target range of 105 – 120g/km for the average new van sold in 2025 that in the long-term will deliver significant emissions reductions and fuel savings.
“Long-term targets for 2025 are crucial to stimulate innovation that leads to more efficient vehicles and drives advanced clean technologies like electric vehicles into the market. The proposed 2025 target range is a step forward but needs to be more ambitious. The technologies used in cars and vans are very similar and targets should also be equivalent,” William Todts concluded.
Tom SimsMay 7, 2013 - 11:51
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