On the 20th July 2016 the European Commission published a short Communication entitled “A European Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility” (see previous Law-Now). Alongside this Communication the Commission announced two public consultations on curbing fuel consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from heavy-duty and light-duty vehicles in both freight and passenger road transport. The content of both consultations is briefly outlined below.

Heavy-Duty Vehicle Fuel Consumption and CO2 emissions

The European Commission published a Consultation on potential legislation on monitoring/reporting of Heavy-Duty Vehicle (HDVs – i.e. trucks and buses) fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The European Commission reports that HDVs account for approximately a quarter of CO2 emissions from road transport in the EU and for 6% of total EU CO2 emissions. These emissions are said to be rising due to greater volume of HDV journeys. The Consultation raises an existing “knowledge gap” on HDV fuel consumption (efficiency) and CO2 emissions and seeks to collect views of stakeholders on the measures that should be introduced to fill this “knowledge gap”. The scope of the consultation covers all goods trucks of categories N2 (maximum mass from 3.5 tonnes to 12 tonnes) and N3 (maximum mass exceeding 12 tonnes); and all passenger vehicles of categories M2 (having more than 8 seats and a maximum mass below 5 tonnes) and M3 (having more than 8 seats and a maximum mass exceeding 5 tonnes). Responses are to be submitted by 28 October 2016 and may be submitted by email: CLIMA-CONSULTATION-HDV@ec.europa.eu

CO2 emission performance standards for light duty vehicles

Improving CO2 emissions performance of HDVs is part of the equation. The European Commission is of the opinion that performance of light duty vehicles also needs to be considered if air quality issues in the EU are to be addressed and the EU’s overall climate goals are to be met. Tightening performance standards for new cars and light commercial vehicles in the EU in order to reduce emissions from this sub-sector is a priority for the European Commission. To address this the European Commission has published a Consultation with a view to revising the Regulation (EU) No 443/2009 and Regulation (EU) No 510/2011 setting CO2 emission performance standards for light duty vehicles. The Consultation seeks to collect views of stakeholders with regard to the revision of the EU regulations setting CO2 emission performance standards for cars and vans (together referred to as light duty vehicles (LDVs)).

The current EU's Regulations1 set vehicle fleet average CO2 targets of 95gCO2/km for cars from 2021 and of 147gCO2/km for light commercial vehicles from 2020. The current targets require manufacturers to reduce new car emissions by about 5% per year between 2015 and 2021 and new light commercial vehicle emissions by about 5.5% per year between 2017 and 2020. Without further action, these targets will remain unchanged after those dates.

The consultation seeks views on such matters as the review of LDV CO2 emissions targets, the methods utilised for measurement of emissions, the use of a utility parameter (as a way to differentiate between manufacturers' fleets), technology neutrality, competitiveness of EU automotive manufacturing, incentives to drive uptake of low-emission and zero-emission vehicles (such as plug-in hybrid vehicles, battery electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles), and further legislation to reduce air pollution caused LDVs (emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter) amongst others.

Responses are to be submitted by 28 October 2016 and may be submitted by email: CLIMA-CONSULTATION-LDV-POST-2020@ec.europa.eu