CO2 performance emissions of new vans in Europe

Following a steady decline until 2017 and a slight increase between 2017 and 2018, average specific CO2 emissions from new vans registered in Europe remained stable at 158.0 g CO2/km in 2019. Although this is below the fleet-wide target of 175 g CO2/km that applied in the period 2014-2019, it is well above the 147 g CO2/km target which applies since 2020. In 2019, almost all van manufacturers met their binding CO2 emissions target.

Published: ‒ 25min read

Emissions from transport account for one quarter of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. The European Green Deal calls for a 90 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from transport, compared with 1990 levels, to support the EU’s aim of becoming climate neutral by 2050 and its zero-pollution ambition.

To reduce CO2 emissions in the road transport sector, emission performance standards for new vans were introduced in 2011, setting a fleet-wide target of 175 g CO2/km for the period 2014-2019 and 147 g CO2/km for the period 2020-2024, as well as specific CO2 emission targets for each manufacturer (or pool of manufacturers). In 2019, a new regulation introduced fleet-wide targets for 2025 and 2030, namely a 15 % reduction from 2021 emission levels by 2025 and a 31 % reduction by 2030.

After a steady decline from 2012 to 2017, by 24 g CO2/km, average emissions from new vans had slightly increased by 2018 and remained stable at 158.0 g CO2/km, in 2019. Although these emissions are below the 2014-2019 target of 175 g CO2/km, they are well above the 2020-2024 target of 147 g CO2/km.

In 2019, 1.67 million new vans were registered in the EU, Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom. Diesel vehicles constituted 94 % of registrations in 2019.

Registrations of plug-in hybrid electric and battery-electric vans nearly doubled between 2018 (0.8 %) and 2019 (1.4 %), but overall remained low. Norway (6.1 %) and Iceland (4.4 %) had the highest shares of battery-electric vans registered, while hardly any plug-in hybrid electric vans were registered in the EU, Iceland, Norway or the United Kingdom in 2019.

According to the Regulation, manufacturers can group together as pools and act jointly to meet their CO2 standards. Pools or individual manufacturers responsible for fewer than 22 000 newly registered vans registered in the EU per calendar year may benefit from a derogation target.

In 2019, all 58 van manufacturers except SsangYong met their binding specific emissions target, either individually or as members of a pool.

Among the pools, Kia achieved the lowest average specific CO2 emissions, of 121.1 g CO2/km, followed by the PSA Group and Renault, with CO2 emissions of 135.7 and 143.9 g CO2/km, respectively. 


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