22 January 2014

The carbon dioxide (CO2) emission limit for new light commercial vehicles sold in the EU is to be reduced from 203g/km today to 147g/km by 2020, after the European Parliament recently approved new draft legislation.

The text, already informally agreed with the Member States through the Council of Ministers, also calls for the introduction of more reliable CO2 emission testing methods.

The MEP charged with piloting the legislation through the parliament, Holger Krahmer, said that, as the lifespan of light commercial vehicles (vans) is longer than that of passenger cars, it was important that any pressure to reduce the emission limit should be resisted.

The 147g/km by 2020 target is for maximum average emissions authorised for the entire fleet of models made by each manufacturer registered in the EU of vans of up to 2.610 tonnes unladen and 3.5 tonnes laden.

It will apply to manufacturers producing more than 1000 vehicles per year.

Manufacturers will therefore have to produce enough cleaner models to outweigh heavier or more polluting vehicles in order to achieve an overall balance of 147g/km, on face the possibility of penalties.

The new legislation will seek to close loopholes in the current environmental performance test protocol, which manufacturers have exploited to produce consumption and emission figures that are almost impossible to achieve under normal daily driving conditions.