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

Comparison of fuel consumption and emissions for representative heavy-duty vehicles in Europe

Experimentally investigates the fuel consumption, pollutant emissions and aerodynamic performance of three European heavy-duty vehicles through chassis dynamometer and track testing.

2018.04.08 | Consultant report
Diesel car sales decline will have negligible impact on attainment of European CO2 emission standards

In the aftermath of Dieselgate, diesel car sales shares are falling in Europe. But diesel's decline does not put EU CO2 targets out of reach. Other technologies offer more compelling and cost-effective pathways to reducing CO2 emissions from passenger cars.

2018.03.18 | Briefing
Fuel consumption simulation of HDVs in the EU: Comparisons and limitations

Analyzes the model structure, simulation flow, and limitations of the EU’s regulatory tool for the simulation of heavy-duty vehicle fuel consumption. Compares the regulatory vehicle simulation tools used in the EU and the United States.

2018.03.06 | White paper
See all publications

Staff blog

A no-regrets option: What discussions in the European Parliament spotlight about a light-duty 2025–2030 CO2 standard for the EU

Although there is broad agreement on what steps need to be taken regarding CO2 standards for new passenger cars and vans, the regulatory proposal from the European Commission is far from actually taking them.

Staff