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

Review of the impact of crop residue management on soil organic carbon in Europe

Assesses the environmental impacts of crop residue management to inform advanced biofuel policy in Europe.

2017.12.15 | Working paper
VW defeat devices: A comparison of U.S. and EU required fixes

The modifications required by US regulators to VW diesel engines designed to cheat emissions tests are more stringent and more effective than in Europe.

2017.12.14 | Briefing
European vehicle market statistics, 2017/2018

A statistical portrait of passenger car, light commercial, and heavy-duty vehicle fleets in the European Union from 2001 to 2016, with emphasis on vehicle technologies, fuel consumption, and emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants.

2017.11.28 | Report
See all publications

Staff blog

Early Christmas present to the car industry, or lump of coal? The European Commission regulatory proposal for reducing new vehicle CO2 emissions post-2020

A first reaction to the European Commission's proposal, released yesterday, for extending the new-car and light-commercial vehicle CO2 emissions standards out to 2030.

Staff