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EC announces tougher CO2 emission standards for cars and vans

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Tougher carbon dioxide standards for cars and vans will be introduced to help cut transport emissions and improve air quality in Europe.

They form part of a package of measures announced by the European Commission, reports AM-sister title Fleet News.

EU member states, including the UK, have committed to a 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared with 1990 levels.

Reducing emissions from petrol and diesel engines, as well as the widespread adoption of electric cars, are key to achieving those targets.

However, the EC report says infrastructure improvements will also be needed, together with changes to procurement rules for public sector fleets and company car tax to incentivise low and zero emission driving.

Transport commissioner Violeta Bulc said: “Transport accounts for a quarter of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions and is a main cause of air pollution. The transition to low-emission mobility is essential to reach the EU’s ambitious climate objectives and improve quality of life in cities.”

Manufacturers are already working towards an average new car CO2 target of 95g/km by 2021, and 147g/km for all new vans by 2020. The Commission is now consulting on a new standard for 2030.

Current targets require manufacturers to reduce new car emissions by about 5% per year between 2015 and 2021, and by about 5.5% per year for vans between 2017 and 2020. But, whatever limits are agreed, the report calls for action earlier “rather than later” due to vehicle renewal cycles.

However, it is unclear about the impact on targets of the new real-life testing procedure for fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions which will be implemented for all new cars launched after September 1 next year. The test is expected to result in a 20-30% rise in average emissions, but lobbying by manufacturers could influence those 2030 targets.

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