Indicator Fact Sheet

Energy efficiency for passenger and freight transport

Indicator Fact Sheet
Prod-ID: IND-110-en
  Also known as: TERM 027
This is an old version, kept for reference only.

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This page was archived on 26 Aug 2017 with reason: A new version has been published

Assessment made on  01 Jan 2002

Generic metadata



DPSIR: Pressure


Indicator codes
  • TERM 027

Policy issue:  Reduce energy use per passenger-km and per tonne-km


Key assessment

The Community strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from passenger cars consists of:
  • the voluntary agreement with the European, Japanese and Korean car manufacturers regarding the reduction of average CO2 emissions of new cars sold in the EU;
  • the car-labelling directive (1999/94/EC ), which came into force at the beginning of 2001 but has still to be implemented by several countries;
  • a recent Commission proposal for a road taxation system based on engine CO2 emissions (European Commission, 2002f).

Between 1990 and 1999, the energy efficiency of EU car transport improved by 2 %. The car manufacturers are on track to meet their intermediate targets - CO2 emissions from new cars were reduced by 10 % between 1995 and 2001 - but extra efforts are needed to reach the 120 g CO2/km target set out in the Community strategy by 2010 (European Commission, 2002g). The increased share of diesel cars in sales, which partly explains the energy consumption reduction, raises concerns regarding higher emissions of particulates and NOx.

General technical improvements have also led to improvements in the energy efficiency of road freight transport in a number of Member States. Trucks and vans are not yet included in the voluntary agreement. The Commission has submitted a proposal to measure CO2 emissions and fuel consumption from light commercial vehicles (European Commission, 2001h) and is studying measures to reduce their CO2 emissions. EU policies still need to address other transport modes. There have been no improvements in the energy efficiency of rail, but this remains the most energy-efficient mode. Despite improvements during the 1990s, aviation is generally the least energy efficient.

Meanwhile, transport energy consumption continues to grow dramatically, indicating that technology improvements are being offset by growth in transport.



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