EP: Mapping the way to cleaner vans by 2020

To reduce the CO2 emissions of new light commercial vehicles sold in the EU to 147g/km by 2020, from 203g today, innovation should be encouraged by giving “super-credit” weightings to each maker’s cleaner vehicles. Longer-term CO2 reduction targets should also be set, and environmental performance testing methods should be made more realistic, said the Environment Committee on Tuesday. The top speed of vans should be electronically limited to 120km/h, it added.

MEPs approved a draft law setting out rules for achieving the 147g target (rapporteur Holger Krahmer, ALDE, DE), by 53 votes to 4 and 1 abstention, but also proposed indicative targets for post-2020 CO2 emissions: a range of 105 to 120g from 2025. Mr Krahmer was given a mandate to enter into first reading negotiations with the Council.

“I welcome the committee’s confirmation of the target of 147g for 2020, as agreed three years ago. Calls for a more ambitious target should be rejected. If we change targets too often, manufacturers will lack certainty as to the law” said Mr Krahmer after the vote.

These emission limits are the average maximum allowed for van makers registered in the EU. MEPs say the scheme should apply to manufacturers producing more than 1,000 vehicles a year.

Manufacturers would have to produce, in addition to older, heavier or polluting models, a sufficient number of cleaner – or more fuel efficient – models to achieve a balance of 147g en 2020, or face  penalties.

“Super-credit” weightings

To achieve this, manufacturers could use “super credits”, which assign a favourable weighting to vans that emit less than 50g of CO2. The committee proposes that each of these extra clean vehicles would count as 3.5 vans in 2014, falling to 1.3 from 2018 to 2023. However, the number of vehicles taken into account when applying these multipliers must not exceed 1% per manufacturer, MEPs say.

Towards more reliable testing procedures

The committee cites recent studies showing that manufacturers have exploited weaknesses in today’s procedure for testing vehicles’ environmental performance, with the result that official consumption and emission figures are far from those achieved in everyday driving conditions.

MEPs therefore say that the new UN-defined World Light Duty Test Procedure (WLTP) should replace today’s procedure in EU law “as a matter of urgency”, and if possible by 2017, on the grounds that the WLTP better reflects the real conditions in which vehicles are used.

Speed limitation devices

MEPs voted an amendment requiring manufacturers to equip new vans with devices restricting their maximum speed to 120 km/h, starting on 1 January 2014. Mr Krahmer opposed this amendment, saying that road traffic regulations are a matter for the member states, not the EU.

Source: European Parliament


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