Indicator Fact Sheet

Proportion of the vehicle fleet meeting certain emission standards (by mode)

Indicator Fact Sheet
Prod-ID: IND-108-en
  Also known as: TERM 034
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 Sep 2006

Generic metadata



DPSIR: Driving force


Indicator codes
  • TERM 034

Policy issue:  Increase the share of the vehicle fleet that meets the most recent (and stringent) emission standards for new vehicles


Key assessment

A factor that has limited the benefits of new technologies is the slow market penetration of these technologies; the average age of passenger cars in the EU has increased (see TERM 33 - Average age of the vehicle fleet). This development can be partly explained by the fact that new cars are bought, but old cars are kept. Indeed, the number of cars per household has increased (see TERM 32 - Size and composition of the vehicle fleet), confirming that new technologies need a long time to penetrate fully. Moreover, new models may be of better quality and therefore have a longer lifetime than less recent vehicles.

One proxy-indicator that can be used to show the rate of penetration of new technologies is the share of passenger cars fitted with catalytic converters. For passenger cars, it has taken more than 10 years to reach a 72 % penetration of this new technology.

However, this indicator alone is not sufficient for a complete assessment of the environmental benefits gained by the penetration of any new technology. In order to have a better overview of the environmental performance of the vehicle fleet, the annual share of kilometres driven by vehicles with older technology needs to be known. There are strong indications that older vehicles are generally used less than newer ones, which means that the emissions reductions achieved are higher than the above indicator may suggest. Due to data limitations concerning the vehicle-kilometres allocated to the various technology classes, an assessment of how much older technology is being used can not be realised.

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