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Energy efficiency and specific CO2 emissions (TERM 027) - Assessment published Jan 2013

Indicator Assessment Created 23 Nov 2012 Published 24 Jan 2013 Last modified 21 Nov 2013, 08:49 AM
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Contents
 

Indicator definition

Specific CO2 emissions are defined as emissions of CO2 per transport unit (passenger-km or tonne-km), specified by mode (road, rail, inland, maritime, air).

CO2 emissions from new passengers cars are expressed in terms of grams of CO2 per kilometer. They are the experimental data measured in the vehicle type approval procedure.

Units

For passenger transport, specific CO2 emissions are expressed in g per passenger-kilometre.
For freight transport, specific CO2 emissions are expressed in g per tonne-kilometre.

For new passenger cars, tailpipe emissions are expressed in g per kilometre


Key policy question: Are the various passenger and freight transport modes becoming more energy efficient?

Key messages

  • Specific CO2 emissions of road transport have decreased since 1995, mainly due to an improvement in the fuel efficiency of passenger car transport. Recent EU Regulation setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars is expected to further reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles in view of the 130 g/km and 95 g/km emission targets set for 2015 and 2020 respectively.
  • Specific CO2 emissions of air transport, although decreasing, are of the same order of magnitude as for road, while rail and maritime shipping remain the most energy efficient modes of passenger transport.
  • Specific energy efficiency of light and heavy duty trucks has improved, but road transport still consumes significantly more energy per t-km than rail or ship freight transport. CO2 emissions from light commercial vehicles are also expected to decrease in view of the 175 g/km and 147 g/km emission targets set for 2017 and 2020 respectively.

Specific CO2 emissions per passenger-km and per mode of transport in Europe, 1995-2011

Note: The graph shows development of specific CO2 emissions, defined as emissions of CO2 per transport unit (passenger-km), by passenger transport mode (road, rail, maritime, air) over the period 1995 to 2011. Data coverage: EEA-32 excluding Iceland and Liechtenstein

Data source:
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Specific CO2 emissions per tonne-km and per mode of transport in Europe, 1995-2011

Note: The graph shows development of specific CO2 emissions, defined as emissions of CO2 per transport unit (tonne-km), by freight transport mode (road, rail, maritime, inland shipping) over the period 1995 to 2011. Data coverage: EEA-32 excluding Iceland and Liechtenstein

Data source:
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Specific CO2 emissions from road passenger and freight transport in Europe, 1995, 2005 and 2011

Note: The graph shows development of specific CO2 emissions for the road transport mode, by category (passenger cars, vans, two wheelers, buses & coaches, light-duty vehicles, heavy-duty vehicles) in 1995, 2005 and 2011. Data coverage: EEA-32 excluding Iceland and Liechtenstein

Data source:
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Key assessment

The specific CO2 emissions of the road sector were reduced between 1995 and 2011 by 7 % for passenger transport and 19 % for freight transport. The energy efficiency and CO2 per passenger-kilometre of passenger car transport has improved by almost 8 % over the same period and this improvement results partly from the voluntary agreement of the automotive manufacturing industries. The reductions in road freight transport are due to both technical improvements of the light and heavy-duty trucks (mainly in the engine efficiency) and increased activity of the heavy-duty trucks, i.e. higher load factors.

The combined effect of improvements in aircraft technology and increased load factors has resulted in a decrease in specific CO2 emissions of air passenger transport by 33 % between 1995 and 2011. However, the total emissions are still growing as a result of transport volumes growing faster than efficiency improvements.

Rail is the most energy efficient mode of passenger transport and the second most energy efficient mode of freight transport (after maritime). Specific CO2 emissions of rail transport have decreased by about 24 % from 1995 to 2011 for passenger transport, mainly due to shifting from diesel to electric trains. Passenger-kilometres of electric trains have increased by 16 %, whereas for diesel trains they decreased by 10 % over the same period. For freight transport the decrease over the same period was 40 % as a result of both technological improvements and increased load factors. The CO2 emission factors for electricity production represent the emissions incurred during the whole production and supply process from fuel extraction to electricity transport to the sub-stations feeding the railway network.

The energy efficiency of maritime shipping has only recorded slight changes of the order of 2 % in the time period considered.

Specific policy question: Are the new passenger cars becoming more energy efficient?

Average emissions for new cars (gCO2/km) (EU-27)

Note: Graph showing progression of average emissions for new cars versus 2015 and 2020 targets

Data source:
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Specific assessment

CO2 emissions from the new passenger car fleet in the EU 27 decreased from 140.2 g CO2/km in 2010 to 135.7 g CO2/km in 2011. The overall trend is one where average emissions of CO2 have decreased steadily since 2000. If similar progress is made each year, then the 2020 target for passenger cars for achieving a fleet average of 95 g CO2/km will also be achieved. However, there is also discussion regarding the real fuel consumption of vehicles, and therefore CO2 emissions. Data to monitor the average emissions of CO2 for the new van fleet are not yet available. Member States will be required to monitor and deliver this data from 2012. However, it has been estimated that average CO2 emissions for the new van fleet decreased from 203 g CO2/km in 2007 to 181 g CO2/km in 2010 (TNO et al., 2012).

Data sources

Policy context and targets

Context description

Since specific CO2 emissions are expressed per transport unit, occupancy rates and load factors have a considerable effect on specific emissions produced from passenger and freight transport respectively. Reduction of specific emissions can be achieved by increasing occupancy rates and load factors and/or by decreasing the emissions per vehicle-km (e.g. by setting stricter emission standards and introducing more energy efficient technologies such as hybrid, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles, etc).

Targets

There are no specific objectives or targets related to the energy efficiency or specific CO2 emissions. Policy objectives are only set with respect to CO2 emissions of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Regulation No 443/2009 specifies that each vehicle manufacturer must achieve a fleet-average CO2 emission target of 130 g/km by 2015 for all new cars registered in the EU. In order to meet the CO2 emission target of 120 g/km, a further reduction of 10 g/km is to be provided by additional measures, such as the use of biofuels. The regulation also defines a long-term target of 95 g/km to be reached from 2020. Similarly to passenger cars, the Vans Regulation (No 510/2011) specifies a fleet-average CO2 emission target of 175 g/km to be phased in between 2014 and 2017 for newly registered vans in the EU. A long-term target of 147 g/km is specified for the year 2020.

As an additional incentive for the introduction of more energy efficient technologies (hybrid, plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles, electric vehicles with range extender), vehicles of CO2 emissions below 50 g/km receive super-credits. For passenger cars, each such vehicle is counted as 3.5 cars in 2012 and 2013, as 2.5 cars in 2014, 1.5 cars in 2015, and as 1 car from 2016. For vans, each such vehicle is counted as 3.5 cars in 2014 and 2015, as 2.5 cars in 2016, 1.5 cars in 2017, and as 1 car from 2018.

Related policy documents

  • 443/2009
    Regulation (ec) no 443/2009 of the European parliament and of the Council setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars as part of the community's integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles.
  • Decision No 1753/2000/EC, CO2 from new passenger cars
    Decision No 1753/2000/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 2000 establishing a scheme to monitor the average specific emissions of CO2 from new passenger cars
  • REGULATION (EU) No 510/2011
    REGULATION (EU) No 510/2011 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL setting emission performance standards for new light commercial vehicles as part of the Union's integrated approach to reduce CO 2 emissions from light-duty vehicles

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

For passenger transport, the specific emissions are calculated by dividing the CO2 emissions of each mode (i.e. road, rail, maritime and air transport) by the respective passenger-kilometres.
For freight transport, the specific emissions are calculated by dividing the CO2 emissions of each mode (i.e. road, rail, inland shipping and maritime transport) by the respective tonne-kilometres.

For CO2 emissions from new passenger cars, data is compiled from DG-Clima monitoring 2000-2009 whereas the EEA is monitoring it since 2010.

Methodology for gap filling

Passenger- and tonne-kilometres and CO2 emissions are modelled and therefore no gap filling is necessary.

Methodology references

No methodology references available.

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

COPERT 4 is used for emissions calculations in EC4MACS. CO2 emissions are consistent with UNFCCC submissions.

Data sets uncertainty

Since the data on CO2 emissions, passenger-km and tonne-km are modelled rather than measured, the data must be treated as estimates. Data on CO2 emissions are less uncertain, as they are calibrated against statistical fuel consumption. Hence, the uncertainty of the passenger-km and tonne-km characterises the overall uncertainty of the indicator. EC4MACS is little sensitive when calculating vehicle and tonne kilometres. This means that the overall uncertainty of passenger-km and tonne-km (as a modelled output) depends on the uncertainty of the underlying statistical data provided as input to the model. The latter may vary significantly among different countries, depending on the way data are collected and reported.

Rationale uncertainty

N/A

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Generic metadata

Topics:

Transport Transport (Primary topic)

Tags:
co2 | greenhouse gas emissions | cars | transport indicators | co2 emissions | transport
DPSIR: Pressure
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
Indicator codes
  • TERM 027
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1995-2020
Geographic coverage:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Europe, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Cinzia Pastorello

Ownership

EEA Management Plan

2012 2.9.2 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100