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

European vehicle market statistics, 2018/2019

Statistical portrait of passenger car, light-commercial, and heavy-duty vehicle fleets in the European Union from 2001 to 2017

2018.12.05 | Report
Advanced biofuel policies in select EU member states: 2018 update

Details on the latest measures that select European Union member states are taking to support advanced alternative fuels

2018.11.30 | Policy update
Analysis of high and low indirect land-use change definitions in European Union renewable fuel policy

Assesses evidence for defining high and low indirect land-use change risk biofuel feedstocks in the European renewable fuel policy

2018.11.15 | Working paper
See all publications

Staff blog

The low-ILUC loophole could allow business-as-usual palm oil imports for biodiesel in Europe

The EC will will soon decide on criteria for classifying high- and low-risk indirect land use change (ILUC) biofuels under the RED II. If the Commission gets it right, this provision could make a positive difference without becoming a giant loophole.

Staff