New vans more fuel efficient

News Published 21 May 2014 Last modified 21 Jun 2016
1 min read
Photo: © Jeroen van Lieshout
The average van sold in 2013 was around 4 % more efficient than the previous year, so the new vans fleet has already met the collective carbon emissions target ahead of the 2017 deadline, preliminary data shows. Similar findings were recently published for new cars, which have also met their target in advance.

There were 1.2 million new vans registered in 2013, with average emissions of 173.3 g of CO2 per kilometre. This means emissions were below the 175g target four years ahead of the 2017 deadline. Manufacturers should now verify the data to check whether they are correct.

The data is published by the European Environment Agency (EEA), which started monitoring the emissions of light commercial vehicles last year.

Emissions levels are very different across Europe – they were lowest among new vans sold in Malta, Portugal and France, while new vehicles in Slovakia, Germany and the Czech Republic had emissions approximately a third higher.

The EEA has also observed a similar trend of increasing efficiency in new passenger cars sold, which also improved by 4 % between 2012 and 2013, meeting their 2015 target two years early.


Member States report CO2 emission levels from the certification test procedure. These levels are measured under laboratory conditions using the new European Driving Cycle specified in EU type approval legislation. This should make the measurements comparable, but not necessarily representative of real-world conditions. 

About this database

There are several uncertainties in the data. The vans data is more complex than that of passenger cars, due to the relatively high number of vehicles type-approved in multiple stages - for example camper vans, where different parts are built by different manufacturers. In the case of multi-stage vans, the base vehicle manufacturer is responsible for the CO2 emissions of the final vehicle under EU law.

Moreover, as the database is relatively new, the current monitoring system cannot adequately capture these vehicles, which means that the data is not yet fully representative of the new vans targeted by the legislation. From next year onwards, a new data collection method will apply which is expected to improve data quality. The EEA will publish final data on new vans' CO2 emissions in the autumn.


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