CO2 emissions from vans continue on downward trend

According to new figures published recently by the European Environment Agency (EEA), emissions from vans were 169.2 grams of CO2 per kilometre in 2014, down 2.4% compared to 2013.

Light commercial vehicles, more widely known as ‘vans’, power the European economy. They provide the means for business to deliver goods to their customers’ doors, as well as enabling other economic and social activities, including construction, postal services, ambulances and policing. The EU market for vans grew by 18% in the EU in 2014, an indication of their economic significance.

ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert said, “Vehicle manufacturers have invested billions of euros into helping improve the fuel efficiency and environmental performance of their products. This investment has underpinned this 4g drop in CO2 emissions per km this year. The industry will continue to work to ensure that its new vehicles go on to meet the target of 147g of CO2 per km by 2020.”

Ensuring further reductions in average CO2 emissions will also be dependent on greater market uptake of alternative powertrains, including electric, hybrid, fuel-cell and natural gas-powered vehicles. However, as the EEA points out, electric vehicles continue to constitute a very small, albeit rising, fraction of new van registrations (less than 0.5% according to the EEA). “Governments across Europe will need to increase their support for the broader roll-out of alternative powertrains, both in terms of helping to build the charging infrastructure and influencing consumer choices,” stated Jonnaert.

“With a view to the future post-2020, we need to initiate a wider debate involving all stakeholders on a more ambitious system for further reducing CO2 emissions from road transport. This means we should not only focus on emissions from the vehicle itself, but also look at other factors influencing emissions during the use of the vehicle. This includes the carbon content of fuels, driver behaviour, infrastructure, the potential of ITS and the age of the fleet.”

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