Fuel bills represent one third of the total cost of ownership of a van, making fuel an important business cost. At the same time, vans are one of the fastest growing sources of CO2 emitted from transport, increasing by 26% between 1995 and 2010; in 2014 vans accounted for 9% of road transport emissions in the EU (28 member states).

To improve fuel efficiency and counter rising emissions, new vans should be required to reduce their emissions by at least 40% between 2021 and 2030, together with a binding 2025 target of 20% to bring forward investment in new technologies and help member states achieve their climate goals by 2030.

CO2 standards for new vans in Europe are 147g CO2/km by 2021, which is much weaker than the CO2 targets for new cars. Were van manufacturers required to achieve equivalent emissions reductions the target would have to be tightened to at least 118g/km. As a result of lax emission standards, coupled with growing numbers of vans, their CO2 emissions continue to grow.

What’s happening?

In 2014 the EU set legally binding targets for new vans to emit on average no more than 175g CO2/km in 2017 and 147g CO2/km in 2021.

T&E thinks this target denies van owners much improved fuel efficiency and lower fuel bills. To know more about the existing vans CO2 targets and how European decision-makers should have been more ambitious, read T&E’s original briefings: short version and long version.

Together with proposals on cars, the Commission proposed new CO2 van targets for 2025 and 2030 in November 2017. This will be followed by the final agreement of the European Parliament and Council of Ministers in 2018.