State of European Transport 2024

Cars

Car emissions remain stubbornly high, but European lawmakers have the levers to speed up decarbonisation.

  • Car fleet in EU (2022)250 million
  • BEVs in the fleet in EU (2022)1.2%
  • Total emissions in EU (2022)450 MtCO2eq

Cars are the biggest transport polluter and, along with vans, account for 13% of Europe’s total greenhouse gas emissions. But in electric cars there is a solution: T&E's life cycle assessment tool for electric cars shows that a battery electric vehicle (BEV) emits, on average, 3 times less CO₂ than the equivalent petrol car. The good news is that electric car sales are rising and almost one in every six cars sold in Europe is now a BEV.

But progress in bringing down car emissions has not been as fast as it should have been.

Lawmakers need to do more to accelerate BEV uptake: by securing the phase-out of engine sales in 2035, and setting targets for fleets – which account for half of new car sales – to electrify. Governments should use taxes to favour BEVs and penalise polluting cars, and small affordable cars should be prioritised by carmakers and governments to make zero-emissions transport more accessible. All of this needs to be backed by a more Europe-based supply chain for EV production, while the distraction of e-fuels for cars should be ignored.

Find out more:

EV

LCA Tool

Roadmap

Sources
Images and video: Adobe Stock
Scope: EU27. For the 3 numbers on top of the page, the fleet size is from ACEA's 'Vehicles on European road' report, the BEV share of the fleet is from the European Alternative Fuels Observatory and the emission is from UNFCC.