The European Commission proposed carbon dioxide (CO2) emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles. It is Europe’s first attempt at setting mandatory targets for reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from on-road freight vehicles, and a necessary step to meet the climate change mitigation objectives of the European Union.

Heavy-duty vehicles in the European Union so far have not been subject to carbon dioxide emissions or fuel-consumption standards, making Europe the largest market without mandatory limits for such vehicles.

The ICCT commissioned the Institute for Internal Combustion Engines and Thermodynamics of the Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) to conduct track and chassis dynamometer testing to determine the aerodynamic drag, pollutant emissions, and fuel consumption of three European heavy-duty vehicles.

The share of diesel vehicles among new car registrations in the EU decreased from a peak of 55% in 2011 to 49% in 2016. Recent data indicate that diesel shares continued to fall in 2017 and early 2018.

The origin of the EU vehicle CO2 regulation is by now a well-known story. European car manufacturers promised to voluntarily reduce average CO2 emissions of new cars to 140 g/km by 2008, starting in 1995, when average CO2 emissions were 186 g/km.

In this policy paper the authors discuss policy instruments which can help to decarbonise passenger cars in the European Union. The authors elaborate to what extent these policy instruments are effective, technology-neutral, predictable, cost-effective and enforceable.

This report provides a comprehensive overview of vehicle remote sensing, an emissions measurement technique which has been used for more than 25 years to evaluate emissions from passing motor vehicles in real-world driving.

New passenger cars and light-commercial vehicles (vans) in the European Union are subject to mandatory carbon dioxide standards until 2020–2021. The European Commission, European Parliament, and EU member states are preparing to extend the light-duty vehicles’ CO2 regulation out to 2025–2030.

Finds that for cars, the cost for meeting a 2025 target value of 70 g/km (as measured in the New European Driving Cycle - NEDC) is between 250 and 500 euros higher than would be the case in a footprint-based CO2 target system.

Analyzes the benefits of establishing separate engine CO2 standards in addition to full-vehicle regulations to specifically drive improvements in heavy-duty engine efficiency.