• Feb 16th 2011 at 4:56PM
  • 4

The European Parliament (EP) has voted to approve a measure that will limit CO2 emissions for vans and other light commercial vehicles in use throughout the European Union (EU). The legislation, which complements existing CO2 limits for passenger vehicles, was approved with 534 votes in favor and 117 against.

The measure aims to spur innovation in the automotive industry by setting an initial CO2 emissions target of 175 grams per kilometer. Under terms laid out in the policy, the average emissions of 70 percent of a manufacturer's fleet of light commercial vehicles must meet or exceed this limit by 2014. By 2017, all fleet vehicles must emit less than 175 g/km of CO2. Then, in 2020, the CO2 emissions limit will be slashed down to 147 g/km.

In addition, the legislation calls for credits to be issued for any vehicle that emits less than 50 g/km of CO2, such as the battery-powered Citroen Berlingo, and penalties to be enforced for failure to comply with the CO2 limits.

Because compromises were required to guarantee the measure's approval, the agreed-upon figures are less ambitious than some members of the EP had pushed for. Furthermore, manufacturers registering fewer than 22,000 vehicles a year are allowed to apply for an exemption.

[Source: European Parliament]
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Green light for cleaner, more fuel-efficient vans

Parliament gave a green light for cleaner, more fuel-efficient vans on Tuesday, in a vote to introduce CO2 limits in the EU for new vans and other light commercial goods vehicles. The rules, agreed with Member States, include incentives to make highly-efficient vehicles as well as penalties for manufacturers that miss the targets.

Parliament approved the legislation with 534 votes in favour, 117 against and 15 abstentions. If endorsed by the Council of Ministers, it will complement existing CO2 limits for passenger cars. Besides contributing towards better air quality and the EU's climate targets, the rules should ensure that small firms that depend on these vans get more fuel-efficient ones. The upper weight limit for this category is 3.5 tonnes when loaded.

Martin Callanan (ECR, UK), who steered the legislation through Parliament, commented: "This legislation has been a difficult balancing act between setting ambitious but attainable environmental targets for manufacturers. I am satisfied that this is a good deal for the environment, for van manufacturers, and for van users across the EU."

The rules aim to spur innovation in industry, setting an initial target of 175g CO2/km. Under the terms of an agreed phase-in, the average emissions of 70% of a manufacturer's fleet must meet this limit in 2014 and the average of all its vehicles by 2017.

The legislation also sets a limit of 147g CO2/km to be achieved by 2020. This figure reflects a less ambitious compromise than many MEPs had wanted, but in line with the agreement reached with Council. Manufacturers registering fewer than 22,000 new vehicles in a year may apply for an exemption from the rules.

Supercredits and penalties

Vans that emit less than 50g CO2/km will earn carmakers "supercredits" for a limited time, by counting as 3.5 vehicles towards the average in 2014-2015, 2.5 in 2016 and 1.5 in 2017, the last year of the scheme. On the other hand, each new van over the agreed limits will be subject to penalties rising to €95 per gram from 2019.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have the exact same car as in the picture with a 1.6 liter 110hp turbo diesel, CO2 emissions 140g/km, there's absolutely nothing to complain about the engine and the chassis fits 5 adults with as much luggage as you can imagine. Anything bigger than 1.6 liters is overkill for any reasonably sized car as far as I'm concerned. And anything bigger than the Berlingo just isn't reasonable.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I often think about getting something like this (though ideally electric) for my next car. I'm not an enthusiast driver; my wife's a professional gardener, with lots of dirty tools; we own dogs, who are often muddy-pawed; and we tend to hose our cars out once a year. So this kind of vehicle would be ideal. Trouble is, cars like this tend to come from manufacturers which are pretty low on the reliability and durability scale: Peugeot, Citroen, Renault, Fiat. I've owned three Citroens and three Renaults in the past, and having been regularly suckered I don't want to go that route again.

      Why don't any other manufacturers seem to cater for this market? Both Ford (with the Transit Connect) and VW (with the Caddy) make good van-type cars, but they are only available, I believe, as LWB hi-roof vehicles; I'm sure Ford and VW deliberately avoid producing low-roof SWB conversions in order not to steal market from their regular car ranges. And so far as I know there's nothing comparable from any of the Japanese firms or any of the more solid Europeans such as Skoda.

      Does anyone have a suggestion for a straightforward, robust, durable utiity car for these straitened times?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think that it is great that they are working hard to improve this problem, Citroen have a great range of vehicles with some of the lowest emissions, and they are great engines too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      And Californians think they have it bad!
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