Europe

Europe

Europe is one of the three largest vehicle markets in the world, the historic home of automotive, aircraft manufacturing, and shipbuilding industries and innovative engineering firms, an engine of world trade and hub of the intricate transport infrastructure it demands. The European Union has at times been a leader in environmental policy for the transportation sector, and it has an indispensable, and growing, part to play in global efforts to respond to the threats posed by climate change. The questions facing EU policy makers on clean transportation—from reforming a decentralized regulatory structure governing vehicle emissions to shaping policy promoting renewable fuels to devising an effective approach to reducing aviation’s carbon emissions—are challenging and urgent.

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About the program

Europe is one of the three largest vehicle markets in the world, the historic home of automotive, aircraft manufacturing, and shipbuilding industries and innovative engineering firms, an engine of world trade and hub of the intricate transport infrastructure it demands. The European Union has at times been a leader in environmental policy for the transportation sector, and it has an indispensable, and growing, part to play in global efforts to respond to the threats posed by climate change. The questions facing EU policy makers on clean transportation—from reforming a decentralized regulatory structure governing vehicle emissions to shaping policy promoting renewable fuels to devising an effective approach to reducing aviation’s carbon emissions—are challenging and urgent.

ICCT Europe played the crucial role in bringing to light the “emissions gap”—the discrepancy between official, type-approval values and real performance in everyday operation—growing in Europe in both passenger-car CO2 and diesel NOx, and we continue to extend policy makers’, and the public’s, awareness of the scope and scale of those problems. ICCT research contributes to the technical foundations underlying the EU’s plans to regulate CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles and to reform the legislation supporting low-carbon fuels in Europe. We’re increasingly involved with cities and other local governments in aid to their efforts to improve local air quality and to find effective ways to stimulate a transition to electric-drive vehicles.

There is significant technology potential to improve the fuel efficiency and reduce the CO2 emissions of the average freight truck in the EU in both the mid-term (now to 2025) and long term (2030). A technology-forcing HDV efficiency standard for Europe must be stringent enough to incentivize long-term technologies, i.e., work to pull technologies into the market faster than would occur because of market forces alone.

[See "Fuel efficiency technology in European heavy-duty vehicles:
Baseline and potential for the 2020–2030 timeframe
"]

Recent publications

Adjusting for vehicle mass and size in European post-2020 CO2 targets for passenger cars

Summarizes the implications of the current mass-based CO2 targets in the EU and outlines three alternatives: do away with the utility parameter altogether; use vehicle footprint instead of mass; keep the mass utility parameter, but reduce its impact on manufacturers’ CO2 targets.

2018.08.08 | Briefing
Recommendations for the proposed heavy-duty vehicle CO2 standards in the European Union

Puts forward a number of specific recommendations aimed at improving the environmental outcomes of the European Commission's May 2018 proposed initial standards.

2018.07.25 | Position brief
Final recast Renewable Energy Directive for 2021-2030 in the European Union

Overview of the transport fuels provisions in the final EU Renewable Energy Directive for 2021-2030.

2018.07.19 | Policy update
See all publications

Staff blog

The EU must go further on CO2 truck targets

Increasing the stringency of the Europe's CO2 standards for HDVs would not only result in greater CO2 savings but also in a lower total cost of ownership for transport operators.

Staff