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

Financing the transition to soot-free urban bus fleets in 20 megacities

Addresses the opportunities for facilitating, and the barriers to financing, the transition to soot-free urban bus fleets in 20 megacities.

2017.10.11 | Report
CO2 reduction technologies for the European car and van fleet, a 2025–2030 assessment

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.

2017.10.10 | White paper
Developing hydrogen fueling infrastructure for fuel cell vehicles: A status update

Provides a synthesis of information regarding the global development of hydrogen fueling infrastructure to power fuel cell vehicles. Compiles research on hydrogen infrastructure deployment, fuel pathways, and planning based on developments in the prominent fuel cell vehicle growth markets around the world.

2017.10.04 | Briefing
See all publications

Staff blog

The EU needs new environmental safeguard measures for advanced biofuels

The EC’s proposed mandate can indeed be an important step toward advanced biofuels, but it can and should do more to avoid unintended consequences. Improving the sustainability criteria defined in the mandate will help ensure that it reduces life-cycle GHG emissions without harming the environment in other ways.

Staff