Carbon dioxide emissions from new vans in Europe continued to fall in 2016

News Published 18 May 2017 Last modified 27 Jun 2017
2 min read
Photo: © Matthew Wilkinson
Average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of new vans registered in 2016 in the European Union (EU) fell by 4.5 grammes (g) per kilometre, compared to the previous year. The reported fuel efficiency improved by 2.7%, according to preliminary data published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA). This is the highest annual reduction since 2013.

The average van registered in the EU in 2016 emitted 163.8 g CO2/km, which is 4.5 g less than in 2015. This reduction brings the EU average emissions 6.4% below the 2017 target of 175 g CO2/km. This target was already met in 2013. Further efficiency improvements are still needed to reach the EU’s more stringent target of 147 g CO2/km set for 2020.

Key findings: 

  • In 2016, almost 1.6 million new vans were registered in the EU, an increase of 9 % compared to the previous year. More new vans were sold in most Member States. However, three Member States reported lower sales: Latvia (-25%), Czech Republic (-19%) and France (-8.2%).
  • Two out of three new vans (66%) registered in the EU were sold in just four Member States: the United Kingdom (22%), France (18%), Germany (15%) and Italy (11%).
  • The average fuel-efficiency of new vans varied widely across Member States due to the different models and sizes of vehicles sold in each country. Average emissions were lowest in Portugal (140.5 g CO2/km), Bulgaria (141.5 g CO2/km) and Cyprus (143.7 g CO2/km) and highest in Slovakia (185.6 g CO2/km), the Czech Republic (183.8 g CO2/km) and Germany (178.8 g CO2/km).
  • The average weight of new vans sold in 2016 also varied across countries. Smaller vehicles (lighter than 1 620 kg) were sold in Bulgaria, Malta and Portugal; larger vehicles (heavier than 1 940 kg) in Slovakia, Czech Republic and Austria.
  • Only 10 177 electric and plug-in hybrid vans were sold in 2016, representing 0.6 % of the total EU van sales. This is significantly lower than the 157 096 electric and plug-in hybrid passenger cars sold the same year, a share of 1.1% of total car sales.
  • Diesel vehicles continue to make up the vast majority of the new van fleet, constituting 96% of sales.


The EEA collects and regularly publish data on new light commercial vehicles registered in Europe, in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 510/2011. The data reported by all Member States in order to evaluate the efficiency of the new vehicle fleet includes information on CO2 emissions and vehicle weight.

It has not yet been confirmed whether different manufacturers have met their own specific annual target for 2016, based on the average weight of the cars they sold. The EEA will publish the final data and the European Commission will confirm manufacturers’ individual performances in the autumn.

Testing vehicle emissions

Member States report new vehicles’ CO2 emission levels, measured under standardised laboratory conditions, following the requirements of the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) test procedure. This procedure is designed to allow a comparison of emissions for different manufacturers. However, in recent years it has been widely recognised that the NEDC test procedure, dating from the 1970s, is out-dated and does not necessarily represent real-world driving conditions and emissions due inter alia to a number of flexibilities that have allowed vehicle manufacturers to optimise the conditions under which their vehicles are tested. The EEA has recently published a non-technical guide explaining the key reasons for the differences observed between official and real world driving emissions.


Geographic coverage

Temporal coverage

Document Actions