Tag Archive: emissions

  1. EP votes ICE-cars and vans out by 2035

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    In a plenary vote on 8 June, Members of the European Parliament adopted their position on proposed rules to revise the CO2 emissions performance standards for new cars and vans with 339 votes in favour, 249 against and 24 abstentions.

    With the adopted text, which constitutes Parliament’s position to negotiate with member states, MEPs support the Commission proposal to reach zero-emission road mobility by 2035 (an EU fleet-wide target to reduce the emissions produced by new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles by 100% compared to 2021). Intermediate emissions reduction targets for 2030 would be set at 55% for cars and 50% for vans.

    Additional details of Parliament’s proposed measures are available here.

    Quote

    Rapporteur Jan Huitema (Renew, NL) said: ‘An ambitious revision of CO2-standards is a crucial part of reaching our climate targets. With these standards, we are creating clarity for the car industry and can stimulate innovation and investments for car manufacturers. In addition, purchasing and driving zero-emission cars will become cheaper for consumers. I am thrilled that the European Parliament has backed an ambitious revision of the targets for 2030 and supported a 100% target for 2035, which is crucial to reach climate neutrality by 2050.’

    Next steps

    MEPs are now ready to start negotiations with EU member states.

    Background

    On 14 July 2021, as part of the ‘Fit for 55’ package, the Commission presented a legislative proposal for a revision of the CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. The proposal aims to contribute to the EU 2030 and 2050 climate objectives, to deliver benefits to citizens by deploying zero-emission vehicles more broadly (better air quality, energy savings and lower costs for owning a vehicle), as well as to stimulate innovation in zero-emission technologies.

    Photo by Matt Boitor on Unsplash

  2. New research uncovers the economic and environmental benefits of the electric motorcycle

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    Source: Science Direct

    The potential to transform polluted city centres?

    Transportation accounts for 25% of total global CO2 emissions, primarily through fuel combustion. In many large cities, such as Barcelona and Madrid, combustion engine vehicle density has escalated air pollution levels to exceedingly high values. In line with European health legislation, many such cities have been forced to implement action plans to alleviate this issue; this includes low emission zones and vehicle environmental impact assessments.

    A current emerging trend is electrifying mobility, with electric vehicle ownership increasing by a factor of ten in the last 5 years. These vehicles are perceived to have a significantly lower environmental impact than their combustion engine counterparts. Carranza et al. now analyze this environmental disparity in the context of Barcelona and motorcycles – in Spain, there was an 8.7% growth of motorcycle registrations in 2021 compared to the previous year. Understanding the potential for developing battery-electric motorcycle technology to reduce the environmental impact of motorcycle use in Spain is therefore crucial for limiting the country’s emissions going forward.

    When analyzing the environmental impact of any vehicle there are multiple stages to consider – manufacturing, maintenance, operation, and disposal; however, the operational stage is where the most impact takes place. In internal combustion engine vehicles, direct emissions from fuel during their lifecycle equate to a value 10 times higher than their electric counterparts (6670 kgCO2-eq global warming potential compared to 650 kgCO2-eq). The source of electricity for battery electric vehicles does of course impact their individual emissions, doubling if supplied by purely coal plants; however, even at their highest point, operational emissions are still far below those of internal combustion vehicles.

    Electric vs combustion engine

    Considering all aspects of lifecycle, the global warming potential of battery-electric motorcycles is approximately one-fifth of internal combustion engine motorcycles, showing them to be a promising alternative. Regarding air pollution, the results of photochemical oxidation formation were 30% lower for electric motorcycles.

    Electromobility will play a fundamental role in the transformation of densely populated and pollution-troubled European cities such as Barcelona. To read the full open access study, offering additional analysis and findings, click here.

  3. Air pollution linked to 1.8 million deaths annually

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    Source: Euractiv

    Recently published studies in The Lancet Planetary Health journal link some 1.8 million excess deaths and nearly 2 million asthma cases to air pollution globally in 2019.

    These findings reveal the desperate need for strategies to improve air pollution and reduce harmful exposures – particularly to the most vulnerable groups in society, children and the elderly. It has been revealed that 2.5 billion people, 86% of those living in urban areas worldwide, are exposed to unhealthy particulate matter levels. World Health Organisation (WHO) states, “there is a close, quantitative relationship between exposure to high concentrations of small particulates and increased mortality or morbidity, both daily and over time.”

    The European Commission is currently preparing a legislative proposal that acts to more closely align EU air quality standards to those recommended by WHO; this will make up one part of the flagship European Green Deal, planned for late 2022. The deal is crucial as many European locations fall behind the NO2 limit. There are currently 13 infringement cases open against member states, with NO2 concentrations in these locations continually exceeding the upper limit of 40 μg/m3.

    It should be noted, that pollution in the EU has seen a general decrease in the last two decades, including key pollutants PM2.5 and NO2. While this is positive, there is a long road to cleaner air and a healthier society; even with these improvements, NO2 was still associated with 1.85 million new pediatric asthma cases in 2019.

    The full studies can be read here, and here.

  4. New research highlights the user preference and environmental impacts of personal and shared micromobility

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    Source: ScienceDirect

    A new study published in Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment reveals commuter LEV preference and impact.

    The research provides insight into travel behavior in the rapidly expanding micromobility market, analyzing the data of over 500 users. Understanding the influences on mode choice is essential for successful transport planning, allowing service providers and policymakers to better implement transport options in urban and rural areas.

    The first findings show that all else equal, the choice of transport mode is fundamentally altered by trip distance, precipitation,and access distance. Generally, users are willing to walk between 60-200m to access shared micromobility services; however, the ability to pre-book devices can extend this travel distance. Consumer choice patterns such as these should be fully considered when implimenting shared transport options, or undertaking vehicle repositioning schemes.

    The study also provides insight into the CO2 emissions of e-bikes and e-scooters, crucial for future policy when aiming to reduce transport-related pollution in city centres. It is found that while personal e-bikes and e-scooters emit less CO2 than the transport modes they replace, shared e-bikes and e-scooters emit more – though still less than a personal car. This goes against the common vision that shared mobility in city centres is a ‘green’ option; operational services and vehicle manufacturing are the two main emission contributers.

    While this may be a negative in the short-term, shared services can aid in sparking a sustainable mobility movement if long-term usage leads to personal ownership; additionally, city administrators may collaborate with micromobility providors to reduce emissions in the two main release stages.

    The full study can be found here.

  5. POLIS and ALICE launch joint guide for a zero-emission 2030

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    The strategic plan aims to lead transformation in cities so that urban logistics proactively respond to the pollution, congestion, safety, and environmental challenges to create liveable, prosperous, resilient, and safer cities.

    ALICE (Alliance for Logistics Innovation through Collaboration in Europe) and POLIS (Cities and regions for transport innovation) launched their ‘guide for advancing towards zero-emission urban logistics by 2030’ on 1 December.

    The document addresses five key areas of intervention in modern cities:

    • Smart governance and regulations. Clear targets and plans, with knowledge shared between cities and regions.
    • Clean and alternative fleet. Uptake of small electric vehicles alongside current van and truck usage.
    • Logistics operations. Consolidation of flows, enabled by new models of collaboration such as sharing of vehicles and infrastructure.
    • Purpose-oriented data acquisition and sharing. Increased interaction between companies and local authorities.
    • Consumer engagement. More transparency to empower customers to enact change.

    The full report and press release can be found here.

  6. GHG emissions from transport in EU: decrease lags behind

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    Source EEA – Greenhouse gas emissions from the EU’s transport sector increased steadily between 2013 and 2019, a trend that diverges significantly from those in other sectors during that period. Preliminary estimates for 2020 indicate a substantial drop in transport emissions, due to decreased activity during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is anticipated that transport emissions will rebound after 2020. National projections compiled by the EEA indicate that even with measures currently planned in the Member States, domestic transport emissions will only drop below their 1990 level in 2029.


    The EU’s domestic transport emissions increased by 0.8% between 2018 and 2019. According to preliminary estimates, they dropped by 12.7% in 2020, because of the drastic decrease in transport activity during the Covid-19 pandemic. For comparison, in the years following the economic crisis a decade ago, emissions decreased by 1-3% per year.

    National projections indicate that Member States expect a significant rebound in transport emissions after 2020. Without the implementation of additional measures, an increase could be observed until 2025, and the reduction expected thereafter would still leave transport emissions in 2030 around 10% above 1990 levels. If Member States implement the additional measures planned to reduce transport emissions, these would peak in 2022 and be reduced thereafter. 2030 emissions would then reach a level 6% below 1990 levels. Most planned policies and measures in the transport sector focus on promoting low-carbon fuels or electric cars, as well as encouraging a modal shift to public transport.

    Road transport constitutes the highest proportion of overall transport emissions (in 2019 it emitted 72% of all domestic and international transport GHG). As a majority of existing and planned measures in the Member States focus on road transport, this share is expected to decrease as road transport decarbonises faster than other transport modes.

    Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash

  7. Average CO2 emissions from new cars and new vans increased again in 2019

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    According to provisional data, published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA), average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new passenger cars registered in the European Union (EU), Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom (UK), increased in 2019, for the third consecutive year. The average CO2 emissions from new vans also increased slightly. Zero- and low-emission vehicles must be deployed much faster across Europe to achieve the stricter targets that apply from 2020.

    The EEA has published the provisional data for the average CO2 emissions from new passenger cars and vans registered in the EU, Iceland, Norway and the UK in 2019. The provisional 2019 data on new registrations can be explored through a new EEA data dashboard.

    After a steady decline from 2010 to 2016, by almost 22 grams of CO2 per kilometre (g CO2/km), average emissions from new passenger cars increased in 2017 and in 2018 (by 2.8 g CO2/km in total). According to provisional data, the upward trend continued with an additional increase of 1.6 g CO2/km in 2019, reaching 122.4 grams of CO2 per kilometre. This remains below the target of 130 g CO2/km that applied until 2019 but well above the EU target of 95 g CO2/km that phases-in this year.

    The reasons for the increase in car emissions include the growing share of the sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment. The market penetration of electric cars remained slow in 2019.

    Vans registered in the EU, Iceland, Norway and the UK in 2019 emitted on average 158.4 g CO2/km, which is 0.5 g/km more than in 2018. This remains well below the target of 175 g CO2/km that applied until 2019 but is still 11 g CO2/km higher than the EU target of 147 g CO2/km that applies from  this year on. Several factors affected this emission increase, including an increase in the average mass and only a limited increase of the share of electric vans (BEV sand PHEV) from 0.8 % in 2018 to 1.3% in 2019.

    Further details are here.

     

    Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

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