Alternative-fuel vehicles as a proportion of the total fleet

Indicator Specification
Indicator codes: TERM 034
Created 02 Dec 2014 Published 09 Mar 2016 Last modified 17 Nov 2017
4 min read
Topics: ,
This indicator measures alternative-fuel vehicles as a proportion of the total vehicle fleet. This is defined as the number of vehicles (by vehicle type and fuel) per total number of vehicles (by vehicle type).

Assessment versions

Published (reviewed and quality assured)


Justification for indicator selection

Increasingly stringent regulations have resulted in the gradual introduction and promotion of more fuel-efficient, less polluting vehicles. The total stock of alternative-fuel vehicles, as well as new registrations, is an indirect indication of the level of improvement of road transport fuel efficiency and pollutant emissions. The overall objective of this specific indicator is to monitor the penetration of alternative-fuel vehicles and, hence, to be able to estimate progress towards environmental targets.

Scientific references

  • No rationale references available

Indicator definition

This indicator measures alternative-fuel vehicles as a proportion of the total vehicle fleet. This is defined as the number of vehicles (by vehicle type and fuel) per total number of vehicles (by vehicle type).


The units used in this indicator are the total number of passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and buses by alternative fuel type (LPG, NG and electric).

Policy context and targets

Context description

A number of policies have been adopted that contribute to meeting targets set at EU level. This includes the 20-20-20 policy package, which came into force in 2009. This package sets two targets: an overarching 20 % cut in greenhouse gas emissions in Europe below 1990 levels by 2020; and a 60 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from transport below 1990 levels by 2050, as set out in the 2011 Transport White Paper. 

The CO2 emission targets for new cars and vans contribute to meeting these two targetsRegulation No 443/2009 sets a CO2 'specific emission' target of 130 grams per kilometre (g/km) by 2015 for new passenger cars sold in the EU. A long-term target of 95 g/km has been set for 2020. Specific targets for vans have also been introduced in Regulation No 510/2011. The first target level (175 g/km) has been phased in since 2014 and will be reached in 2017, and a second target level (147 g/km) should be reached in 2020.


There are no specific objectives or targets related to the number of different types of alternative fuel vehicles as a proportion of the total vehicle fleet. Policy objectives are rather set with respect to the environmental performance of newly registered passenger cars and vans.

Related policy documents

    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.
  • 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

Key policy question

Are alternative-fuel powered vehicles increasing as a proprotion of the total vehicle fleet?


Methodology for indicator calculation

Alternative-fuel vehicles (LPG, NG, electric) as a proportion of the total vehicle fleet for each vehicle type (passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, buses) is calculated by dividing the number of alternative fuel vehicles by the total fleet for each vehicle type.

Methodology for gap filling

Data gaps are filled either by interpolation, where data between reported data are missing, or by using the first (or last) reported value.

Methodology references

No methodology references available.

Data specifications

EEA data references

External data references

Data sources in latest figures


Methodology uncertainty

Not available.

Data sets uncertainty

The data on the stock of alternative-fuel vehicles mostly come from statistical sources and are hence considered reliable. Data on new registrations are also reliable as they are officially submitted by EU Member States as part of their CO2 reporting obligations. Sibyl and EC4MACS have been used to fill data gaps.

Rationale uncertainty

Not available.

Further work

Short term work

Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.

Long term work

Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.

General metadata

Responsibility and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Diana Vedlugaite


European Environment Agency (EEA)


Indicator code
TERM 034
Version id: 2
Primary theme: Transport Transport

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year


DPSIR: Driving force
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)

Related content

Data references used

Data used

Latest figures and vizualizations

Relevant policy documents

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100