A critical assessment of the Aachen study on the CO2 reduction potential for light commercial vehicles

In 2010 the EU reached an agreement on CO2 emission standards for light commercial vehicles (vans). The final outcome was a significant weakening of the initial Commission proposal of 135g CO2/km. Misinformation about technological potential and inflated cost estimates convinced policy makers that the proposed target levels had to be weakened. 

A study which was instrumental in influencing policy makers was the 2010 Aachen (IKA) study. It had been commissioned by the German ministry of economy to inform its position and concluded that CO2 emission reductions from vans are extremely difficult and very expensive. Despite the availability of new and more up-to-date studies, today the same study continues to be used to assert that 147g is an “over-ambitious” target.

This briefing analyses how the IKA study came to its results and assesses the credibility of these results.