[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]
EU agreement pushes full implementation of 95 g/km CO2 target for cars back 1 year to 2021, expands use of supercredits
November 27, 2013
The European Parliament (EP) and member state negotiators reached an informal agreement on new rules to achieve the 2020 CO2 emission target of 95 g/km for new cars. Under the new agreement, which must be approved by both the European Parliament and Council to enter into force, 95% of new cars must meet the 95 g/km mandatory target by 2020, and 100% by 2021.
An earlier agreement (earlier post), set aside after EU ministers failed to endorse a previous informal deal on it with Parliament, had envisioned full implementation of the 95-gram target in 2020. Additionally, the new agreement significantly expands the use of supercredits—favorable weightings to cars that emit less than 50 g/km of CO2 within a manufacturer’s range.
Euro Parliament Transport Committee backs draft directive mandating expansion of alternative fuel stations; grandfathering CHAdeMO
November 26, 2013
|Minimum number of publicly-accessible recharging points for electric vehicles in each member state. Click to enlarge.|
EU member states would have to ensure that specified numbers of publicly-available electric vehicle recharging points and hydrogen and natural gas stations are built by 2020, under a draft directive endorsed by the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament on Tuesday. The draft rules aim to reduce dependence on oil and boost take-up of alternative fuels, so as to help achieve a 60% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 2050.
Private sector players should play a leading role in developing this infrastructure, but member states should provide tax and public procurement incentives for them to do so, say the members of Parliament (MEPs). The directive specifies that:
EEA: All major car manufacturers in Europe met 2012 CO2 targets; 9 already meet 2015 targets
October 31, 2013
|Distance to 2012 target by individual manufacturer. Source: EEA. Click to enlarge.|
Based on emission levels recorded in vehicle tests, car registration data analyzed by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in the report “CO2 emissions performance of car manufacturers in 2012” shows that in 2012 all major car manufacturers met their targets for their fleet. Nine of the larger manufacturers (Audi AG, BMW AG, Automobiles Citroën, Fiat group, Ford-Werke, Adam Opel, Automobiles Peugeot, Seat, Toyota Motor Europe, and Volvo Car) were already compliant with 2015 targets in 2012.
Carbon emissions of the average car sold in the EU fell 2.6% between 2011 and 2012, cutting the EU average to 132.2 grams of CO2 per kilometer—close to the 130 g target for the average new car sold in 2015.
Musk says Tesla making significant investments in Germany: Superchargers, service centers and free tuning for better Autobahn performance
October 23, 2013
Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors announced that his company will make “a significant investment” in Germany, focused on expanding the Supercharger network, expanding the number of service centers, and high-speed tuning for the Model S for improved performance on the Autobahn.
Deliveries of Model S in Europe started this summer. Citing data from Germany’s Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA), a report in the International Business Times noted that Tesla had sold 98 Model S units in August and September. lagging sales of other EVs in the country. This performance is in contrast to Norway, where the Model S was the best selling vehicle of any model last month, and in the Netherlands, the car’s second-strongest Northern European market.
Kia introducing bi-fuel gasoline-LPG Picanto in Europe
September 12, 2013
|Picanto Click to enlarge.|
Responding to growing customer demand in Europe for small cars with low running costs and low emissions, Kia is introducing a bi-fuel gasoline-LPG model to its Picanto small car range. The new variant, introduced at the Frankfurt show, will record fuel economy in LPG mode of 5.8 l/100 km (40.6 mpgUS) and CO2 emissions of 100 g/km; automatic stop-start (ISG) equipped models will achieve 5.6 l/100 km (42 mpgUS) and 97 g/km.
Picanto LPG is powered by a special version of Kia’s three-cylinder 1.0-liter Kappa engine which produces 67 ps (66 hp, 49 kW) and 90 N·m (66 lb-ft) of torque. To process LPG the engine is fitted with an additional fuel system featuring a solenoid valve, vaporiser (which turns the liquid LPG into a gas by reducing its pressure by 0.7 Bar), a gas filter and an injector module.
European Parliament backs 6% cap on land-based biofuels, switchover to advanced biofuels; no mandate
September 11, 2013
In a vote on draft legislation, the European Parliament has backed a cap on the use of biofuels produced from starch-rich crops, sugars, oil and other crops grown on land and a speedy switchover to new biofuels from alternative sources such as seaweed and waste. The measures aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that result from the turnover of agricultural land to biofuel production.
According to current legislation, member states must ensure that renewable energy accounts for at least 10% of energy consumption in transport by 2020. In the adopted text, MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) say land-based biofuels should not exceed 6% of the final energy consumption in transport by 2020. (The proposal by the European Commission on which the draft legislation was based had suggested an even lower 5% cap.)
UK launches new ultra low emission vehicles strategy; focus on nurturing the industry
September 05, 2013
UK Transport Minister Norman Baker launched the government’s latest strategy—Driving the Future Today: A strategy for ultra low emission vehicles in the UK—to advance the ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs) industry with a focus on economic development in the UK. The government’s vision, said Minister Baker, “is that by 2050 almost every car and van will be an ultra low emission vehicle with the UK at the forefront of their design, development and manufacture. This strategy moves us up a gear in pursuing that vision.”
The principles behind the strategy include focusing on inward investment and the supply chain; technological neutrality, i.e., specifying the bulk of policies in output rather than technology terms; and addressing market failure. Accordingly, a great deal of effort and funding will flow to programs to incent adoption and to establish plug-in charging and hydrogen refueling infrastructures.
Toyota goes all hybrid for Frankfurt Motor Show; Yaris Hybrid-R concept, fuel cell update
August 19, 2013
|Teaser sketch of Yaris Hybrid-R concept. Click to enlarge.|
At the upcoming 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Toyota stand will be devoted entirely to hybrids, the company says. Toyota’s hybrid portfolio, built over the past 16 years, comprises 23 models sold in 80 countries. As of the end of July 2013, Toyota Motor Corporation has sold more 5.5 million hybrid products—more than 10% of which have been sold in Europe.
Toyota will also use the venue to unveil further potential technology directions in the future of low-emission and zero-emission vehicles with the world premiere of the Yaris Hybrid-R concept, as well as the latest status of its fuel cell technology development, due to be launched in a production car by 2015.
Honda unveils new Civic Tourer with 1.6L i-DTEC diesel
August 12, 2013
|New Civic Tourer. Click to enlarge.|
Honda unveiled the new UK-built Civic Tourer wagon ahead of its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. The Civic Tourer will be available with the choice of two engines: the new 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine from the Earth Dreams Technology series (earlier post) and the 1.8 i-VTEC gasoline engine with manual or automatic transmission. Applied in the Honda Civic (available since January 2013), the i-DTEC engine delivers combined cycle fuel economy of 65.3 mpgUS (3.6 l/100 km).
The new Civic Tourer will be launched in Europe in early 2014. It will be built at Honda’s UK manufacturing facility in Swindon alongside the hatchback variant and the CR-V and Jazz.
Mercedes-Benz introduces latest E 200 Natural Gas Drive and E 220 BlueTEC BlueEFFICIENCY Edition
August 09, 2013
|E 200 Natural Gas Drive. Click to enlarge.|
Mercedes-Benz is introducing the latest version of the bivalent drive E 200 Natural Gas Drive (NGD) variant to the E‑Class family in Europe. The E200 NGD can run on either gasoline or natural gas; benefits of running the car on natural gas include a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions compared with comparable operation using gasoline, and much lower fuel costs. Mercedes-Benz also introduced the new diesel E 220 BlueTEC BlueEFFICIENCY Edition, with CO2 emissions of 114 grams/km.
The E 200 Natural Gas Drive uses 4.3 kg of natural gas per 100 kilometers (NEDC combined), which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 116 g/km. If the new E 200 NGD automatically switches to running on gasoline because the gas tank is empty, the new four-cylinder engine needs requires 6.3 liters of unleaded gasoline (NEDC combined) for every 100 kilometers (37.3 mpg US), with CO2 emission of 147 g/km.
Interim report from Germany’s KBA finds no sufficient evidence of risk with use of R1234yf refrigerant
Independent testing by Germany’s Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (Federal Motor Transport Authority) has found that while there is “no sufficient evidence of a serious risk” as defined by the Product Safety Act (ProdSG) related to the use of the low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerant R-1234yf.
The tests were conducted under the auspices of and on behalf of the KBA in cooperation with the Federal Highway Research Institute, Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, and the Environmental Protection Agency in accordance with the test parameters jointly developed by TÜV Rheinland.
Exploring the adoption of EVs in the US, Europe and China; charging scenarios and infrastructure
August 06, 2013
|Aspirational targets among seven countries participating in the Electric Vehicle Initiative would see growth from just under 2 million EV and PHEVs to just under 20 million by 2020. Source: “Electric Vehicle Grid Integration”. Click to enlarge.|
A recently published paper by M.J. Bradley & Associates, commissioned by the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), examines key drivers of EV adoption in the US, Europe and China, with an emphasis on vehicle charging scenarios and infrastructure.
This report examines hurdles to EV adoption in these regions, and identifies critical success factors that should guide policymakers in the transportation and electric sectors. Accelerating the pace of EV market growth requires a coordinated evolution in both sectors, the report argues, from the power plant to the charging station to the vehicle. Supportive policies should work to ensure that EV owners are able to capture the full economic value of their decision to fuel switch from electricity to gasoline, including any benefits to the grid operator, and any emission reduction benefits, in addition to realizing the savings from replacing gasoline or diesel fuel with electricity.
Neste Oil in renewable diesel blend demonstration project aimed at commercialization; Diesel R33
August 01, 2013
|Test bus for the Diesel R33 project. Click to enlarge.|
Neste Oil is part of a fleet demonstration program of a new blend of diesel fuel in Coburg, Germany. The aim of the program is to introduce to the market a fuel with a significantly higher proportion of renewable content than current diesel blends. The German Minister of Transport, Peter Ramsauer, kicked off the project today in Coburg.
The new blend—Diesel R33—contains 26% NExBTL renewable diesel, an hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO)-type renewable diesel fuel produced by Neste Oil; 7% conventional biodiesel (FAME) produced from used cooking oil; and 67% fossil diesel. With the 26% share of NExBTL, the new blend offers the highest biofuel content of any diesel blend that fulfills and exceeds the requirements for diesel fuels used in the European Union.
JRC assesses EU RD&D investments in electric-drive vehicles; controls and energy storage top the list
July 20, 2013
|Distribution of total investments and public co-funding in publicly co-funded R&D projects. Controls and energy storage top the list. Source: JRC. Click to enlarge.|
A report from the JRC on research, development and demonstration (RD&D) projects on electric drive vehicles (not including fuel cell vehicles) in the EU finds that increased exchange of information and more coordination between projects would result in a better leverage of the investments—at this point, some €1.9 billion (US$2.5 billion), 65% from public funding. The JRC (Joint Research Centre) is the European Commission’s (EC’s) in-house science service.
The report is the third in a series that deals with aspects of electromobility in Europe. Its goal was to collect the information on all on-going or recently concluded RD&D projects on electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which received EU or national public funding with a budget of more than €1 million (US$1.3 million), in order to assess which of the electric drive vehicles (EDV) challenges are addressed by these projects and to identify potential gaps in the RD&D landscape in Europe.
$11M European project seeks to increase lifetime and energy density of automotive Li-ion batteries; second-life use
July 19, 2013
A €8.4-million (US$11-million) European research project will seek to increase the lifetime and energy density of large-format automotive Li-ion batteries, with a target of a 4,000-cycle lifetime at 80% DOD (depth of discharge) and an energy density of 250 Wh/kg. The goal is a commercial pre-product by the end of the project in September 2016.
The Batteries2020 project approach is based on three parallel strategies: 1) highly focused materials development; 2) understanding aging and degradation phenomena; and 3) routes to reduce battery cost, including second-life use. The project, led by Basque R&D Center IK4-IKERLAN, is receiving €5.9 million (US$7.8 million) in funding from the EU’s 7th Framework Programme.
UK government and industry to invest >$1.5B in Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) for low carbon vehicles; technology roadmaps for 5 priority areas
July 12, 2013
The UK government and automotive industry are investing £500 million (US$755 million) each over the next 10 years in an Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to research, to develop and to commercialize the technologies for the low carbon vehicles of the future. Backed by 27 companies in the sector, including supply chain companies, the commitment is expected to secure at least 30,000 jobs currently linked to producing engines and create many more in the supply chain.
The investment forms part of the report “Driving success – an industrial strategy for growth and sustainability in the UK automotive sector”, published jointly by the government and industry. It follows the recent plans for construction, aerospace and other key sectors to secure sustainable future growth in the economy.
European Commission launches new $1.8-billion fuel cell and hydrogen research initiative
July 10, 2013
The European Commission is launching a second phase of the first Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH) Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) set up in 2008. The new Fuel Cells & Hydrogen 2 Initiative—with a proposed combined 50:50 EU-industry budget of €1.4 billion (US$1.8 billion)—will continue to develop a portfolio of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies to the point of market introduction. The new FCH 2 JTI is expected to start in 2014 and will end in 2024.
The JTI is one of five announced as part of a new EU-industry investment of €22 billion (US$28 billion) in research and innovation. The other JTIs address innovative medicines; aeronautics; bio-based industries; and electronics.
International consortium launches government-supported study on hydrogen vehicle refueling infrastructure in France
July 06, 2013
Twenty founding partner members of the “Mobility Hydrogen France” (Mobilité Hydrogène France, MHF) consortium are combining their forces and expertise to produce an economically competitive and supported deployment plan for a private and public hydrogen refueling infrastructure in France between 2015 and 2030, including an analysis of cost-effectiveness.
Regional, national and international, private and public stakeholders were brought together by the French Association for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells (L’Association Française pour l’Hydrogène et les Piles à Combustible, AFHyPaC) and supported by the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy (Ministère de l’Ecologie, du Développement Durable et de l’Energie), to share their knowledge and expertise in order to develop coordinated deployment scenarios for vehicles and hydrogen stations, and to emphasize the clear benefits and costs of this transition. The results will be published in late 2013.
CEPS task force report identifies tightening emissions standards as key policy to hit EU 60% reduction in transport GHG; full life-cycle emissions optimal metric
July 01, 2013
The report from a task force assembled by the CEPS (Centre for European Policy Studies), a Brussels-based think tank, on European transport policy has concluded that the EU’s goal of a 60% greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction in the transport sector in 2050 compared to 1990 levels is possible, but at a cost.
Achieving the goal will require a comprehensive policy strategy that needs to be both “credible and adequate”, the report found. Credibility requires beginning to implement policies now—i.e. measures such as standards, taxation or infrastructure development—consistent with the long-term objective. Adequacy requires the measures, in their entirety, to have the potential to meet the target while neither undermining the internal market for transport nor its affordability.
Siemens presents three-point plan for implementing cost-efficient energy transition in Germany
June 15, 2013
Germany has embarked on a large-scale Energiewende (energy transition)—a policy-driven shift away from nuclear and fossil energy to a renewable energy economy. Following the Fukushima disaster in 2011, the Federal government oversaw the immediate closure of eight nuclear plants, with the rest of the stations to be shut down by 2022. The government also is maintaining its target of cutting GHG emissions by 40% by 2020 (compared with 1990 levels) and by 80% by 2050.
However, the financial cost of the shift is causing concern. In May, the International Energy Agency released a review of German energy policies that commended the country for its commitment to developing a low-carbon energy system over the long term, but emphasized that further policy measures are necessary if the Energiewende is to maintain a balance between sustainability, affordability and competitiveness. “The fact that German electricity prices are among the highest in Europe, despite relatively low wholesale prices, must serve as a warning signal,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven as she presented the report, Energy Policies of IEA Countries – Germany 2013 Review.
Nissan introduces new 1.5L diesel in Juke in Europe; 56 mpg US
June 11, 2013
|Nissan Juke n-tec. Click to enlarge.|
Nissan is introducing a new 1.5-liter dCi diesel engine in the Juke in Europe. The new 1.5L engine brings CO2 emissions down to 109 g/km from 124 g/km, with fuel consumption on the combined cycle of 4.2 l/100 km (56 mpg US)—an 11% reduction in consumption from the 4.72 l/100 km (49.8 mpg US) of the outgoing 1.5L unit.
The 108 hp (81 kW) diesel boosts maximum torque from 240 N·m to 260 N·m (192 lb-ft) at 1,750rpm, with 80% of this figure available from just 1,500 rpm to improve driveability. The new unit is now the most efficient engine in the Juke line-up, Nissan says.
ICCT study finds increasing gap between rated and actual passenger car fuel consumption in Europe
May 29, 2013
|The divergence of real-world CO2 emissions vs. manufacturers’ type-approval (100%) in Europe from various on-road data sources. Source: ICCT. Click to enlarge.|
A new white paper published by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) comparing official and “real-world” fuel consumption and CO2 emission values for passenger cars in Europe and the United States shows that the average discrepancy between the values in Europe increased from less than 10% in 2001 to 25% in 2011.
The European analysis is based on the aggregation of several large sets of on-road driving data from various European countries. The analysis of US data is separate from that of the EU data—and draws different initial conclusions—for a number of reasons, including that both the test cycle and test procedure to determine vehicle CO2 emissions data are different from the way type-approval data are collected in the EU.
Euro Parliament Environment Committee approves 147 g CO2/km target for light commercial vehicles by 2020; caps van speed
May 07, 2013
Members of the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee approved a draft law setting out rules for achieving a 147 g CO2/km (235 g/mile) target for new light commercial vehicles by 2020, down from 203 g/km (325 g/mile) today—i.e., a 27.6% reduction. The vote was 53 to 4 with 1 abstention.
The committee also proposed indicative targets for post-2020 CO2 emissions in a range of 105 to 120 g/km (168 to 192 g/mile) from 2025. The committee also voted to limit electronically the top speed of vans to 120 km/h (75 mph).
Reports highlight ongoing advances in vehicle technology, consumer demand for fuel efficiency in US and Europe
May 02, 2013
|4-cylinder engines and hybrid vehicles as a percent of cars sold in the US. Source: CFA. Click to enlarge.|
Two separate reports highlight the ongoing improvement in vehicle technologies and the growing trend toward consumers purchasing more fuel efficient vehicles in the US and in Europe. In the US, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) released an analysis—“On the Road to 54.5 MPG: A Progress Report on Achievability”—of the response of consumers and automakers as both begin to experience the effects of the newly adopted federal fuel economy standard.
In Europe, a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) found that the average car sold in the EU in 2012 was 9% more fuel-efficient than the average three years before, due to improved technology and an increase in the share of diesel cars.
Euro Parliament committee approves new 95 g/km CO2 target for cars; super credits and a switch to WLTP
April 25, 2013
The environment committee of the European Parliament approved a draft law setting out a new CO2 target for cars of 95g CO2/km (153 g/mile) by 2020, down from 130 gCO2/km (209 g/mile) in 2015. The draft also sets indicative targets for post-2020 CO2 emissions in the range of 68-78 g/km (109-126 g/mile) from 2025.
These emission limits are the average maximum allowed for car makers registered in the EU. Makers producing fewer than 1,000 cars a year should be exempt from the legislation, said the MEPs. Car makers would therefore have to produce, in addition to older, heavier or polluting models, enough cleaner ones to achieve a balance of 95g en 2020, on pain of penalties.
Study finds technology cost of achieving European 2020 LDV CO2 targets more than offset by resultant fuel savings
March 19, 2013
|Provisional 2030 economic impact of achieving the 2020 targets in the two Phase I scenarios—Current Policy Initiatives and Tech 1— compared to baseline. Source: Cambridge Econometrics.Click to enlarge.|
A report published by Cambridge Econometrics and Ricardo-AEA concludes that overall, the cost of technologies required to meet proposed European 2020 CO2 regulations for vehicles (95 g/km for cars and 147 g/km for vans) will be more than offset by the resultant fuel savings. The technical and macro-economic study, commissioned by the European Climate Foundation, focuses on light-duty vehicles.
The project is taking a phased approach. This first report (Phase I) examines only the impact of improving the efficiency of fossil-fueled vehicles, in which efficiency gains are delivered by the improvement of the internal combustion engine vehicle, including lightweighting, engine downsizing and hybridization. The Phase II report, to be presented mid-2013, examines the impact of the gradual penetration of advanced powertrains, such as battery-electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles, and the gradual replacement of fossil fuels with increasing levels of indigenous energy resources, such as electricity and hydrogen.
Mayor of London proposes $1.4B cycling plan for the city; “Crossrail for the bike”
March 07, 2013
Among other features, the plans would create a “Crossrail for the bike”—a route that will run for more than 15 miles (24 km), very substantially segregated, from the western suburbs, through the heart of London, to Canary Wharf and Barking. It would use new Dutch-style segregated cycle tracks along, among other places, the Victoria Embankment and the Westway flyover. It is believed to be the longest substantially-segregated cycle route of any city in Europe.
Toyota, City of Grenoble, Grenoble-Alpes Métropole, Cité lib, EDF launch ultra-compact urban EV car-sharing project; i-ROAD and COMS
March 04, 2013
|Concept of the Grenoble urban EV car-sharing project. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), the city of Grenoble, the Grenoble-Alpes Métropole, car-sharing service operator Cité lib, and French energy provider Électricité de France (EDF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to begin by the end of 2014 a collaborative zero-emission ultra-compact urban electric vehicle car-sharing project in Grenoble aimed at addressing “last mile” transportation needs for those using public transportation.
TMC plans to supply nearly 70 ultra-compact electric vehicles for the 3-year project, including the COMS ultra-compact vehicle produced by Toyota Auto Body (earlier post), as well as a new vehicle based on the Toyota i-ROAD concept vehicle. (Earlier post.)
EEA report suggests road charges for heavy-duty goods vehicles should reflect varied health effects of pollution in different countries
|Air pollution externalities of 12–14 ton HGV on highway (Euronorm III) in euro cents. Source: EEA. Click to enlarge.|
A new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) suggests that new road charges for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs or lorries) should reflect the varied health effects of traffic pollution in different European countries. This means charges should be much higher in some countries compared to others, according to the (EEA).
The amended Eurovignette Directive (2011/76/EU) relating to the charging of HGVs for use of major European motorways prescribes that from 2013, Member States may include air pollution costs in any charging structure for roads under the Trans‐European Network (TEN-T) and for comparable domestic motorways. The revenue from such schemes should be invested in sustainable transport, the Directive states. However, adoption of road user charges depends on a decision by individual countries.
SEAT introducing natural gas Mii Ecofuel with 79 g/km CO2
March 03, 2013
|The SEAT Mii Ecofuel. Click to enlarge.|
SEAT, a member of the Volkswagen Group, is expanding its Mii family with the introduction of the Mii Ecofuel, which runs on natural gas. The first model with a CNG engine to wear a SEAT badge, and making its debut at the Geneva Motor Show 2013 this coming week, the Mii Ecofuel offers average consumption of 2.9 kg CNG/100 km and CO2 emissions of 79 g/km. Given the fuel price in many countries, the running costs are approximately half those of a Mii with a gasoline engine.
The 1.0-liter, 68 PS (50 kW) engine is based on the three-cylinder gasoline unit found in the Mii with 60 PS (44 kW) and 75 PS (55 kW) outputs, but it’s been specifically developed for CNG operation. At an entry price of €12,050 (US$15,700) in Germany, the new SEAT Mii Ecofuel is also the most inexpensive CNG model on the market.
European automakers welcome Obama’s announcement of comprehensive US-Euro trade talks; major focus on regulatory convergence
February 14, 2013
In his State of the Union (SOTU) address Tuesday night, President Barack Obama announced the launch of talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union. The European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA) welcomes the talks, one of the elements of which will be addressing regulatory issues and non-tariff barriers such as different safety or environmental standards for cars.
The goal of the talks, said the EU in a statement, will be to move towards a more integrated transatlantic marketplace, noting that: “Currently, producers who want to sell their products on both sides of the Atlantic often need to pay and comply with procedures twice to get their products approved. The goal of this trade deal is to reduce unnecessary costs and delays for companies, while maintaining high levels of health, safety, consumer and environmental protection....The regulatory area is where the highest potential benefit lies with these trade negotiations.”
UKH2Mobility interim report finds potential for 1.6M hydrogen-powered vehicles on UK roads by 2030, with annual sales of 300K units
February 05, 2013
|UK consumer demand for FCEVs increases as the cost premium diminishes and the network of hydrogen refueling stations (HRS) expands. Source: UKH2Mobility. Click to enlarge.|
More than 1.5 million hydrogen-powered vehicles could be on UK roads by 2030, according to interim Phase I findings of the UKH2Mobility project, a joint Government-industry to evaluate the potential for hydrogen as a fuel for Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles in the UK before developing an action plan for an anticipated roll-out to consumers in 2014/15. (Earlier post.)
The forecast was made in an interim report commissioned to evaluate the benefits of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and ensure the UK is well positioned for their commercial roll-out. The study provides a roadmap for the introduction of vehicles and hydrogen refueling infrastructure in the UK.
EU launches clean fuel strategy; EU-wide standards of equipment and binding targets for infrastructure
January 25, 2013
The European Commission announced a package of measures to ensure the build-up of alternative fuel stations across Europe with common standards for their design and use. Policy initiatives so far have mostly addressed the actual fuels and vehicles, without considering fuels distribution. Efforts to provide incentives have been un-co-ordinated and insufficient, the EC said.
Clean fuel adoption is being held back by three main barriers, the EC said: the high cost of vehicles; a low level of consumer acceptance; and the lack of recharging and refueling stations. Refueling stations are not being built because there are not enough vehicles; vehicles are not sold at competitive prices because there is not enough demand; and consumers do not buy the vehicles because they are expensive and the stations are not there. The Commission is therefore proposing a package of binding targets on Member States for a minimum level of infrastructure for clean fuels such as electricity, hydrogen and natural gas, as well as common EU wide standards for equipment needed.
Pike Research forecasts hybrids and plug-ins to grow to 4% of European market in 2020
January 02, 2013
|Pike’s projected vehicle sales by electrified drivetrain, European markets: 2012–2020. Click to enlarge.|
Pike Research forecasts that electric vehicles—conventional hybrids (HEVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and battery-electrics (BEVs)—will grow from 0.7% of the market in Europe in 2012 to 4% in 2020. While that is still a small portion of the market, it represents more than 827,000 vehicles per year, Pike notes. The biggest growth is expected in BEVs followed by PHEVs, with HEVs lagging behind.
Pike Research forecasts that by 2020 more than 1.8 million BEVs will be on Europe’s roadways, along with 1.2 million PHEVs and 1.7 million HEVs.
TU Dresden study on external costs of automotive transportation in Europe calls for internalization of the high external costs; raising user prices to change behavior
December 26, 2012
|Average external costs from cars per 1,000 vkm by country. Click to enlarge.|
A recent study from Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden) commissioned by the Greens/European Free Allianace (EFA) in the European Parliament concluded that the cars used within the EU-27 externalize up to about €373 billion (US$493 billion) per year (high estimate) of costs on to other people, other regions and other generations. The low estimate is external costs of €258 billion (US$341 billion).
The study focused on the larger environmental costs of car traffic (plus accident costs not covered by insurance)—i.e., air pollution; noise, upstream and downstream effects (covering all effects before and after the actual trip is performed); smaller other effects (land use, separational effects etc.); and climate change (focused on avoidance costs rather than damage costs). Neither infrastructure costs (area purchase, construction, maintenance, demolition, administration of infrastructure) nor congestion costs were included.
EC awards €1.2B from NER300 “Robin Hood” mechanism for 23 renewable energy projects; 5 advanced biofuel projects targeted for €516.8M
December 20, 2012
The European Commission awarded more than €1.2 billion (US$1.6 billion) funding to 23 highly renewable energy demonstration projects—including five advanced biofuels projects with maximum combined funding of €516.8 million (US$687 million), or 43% of the total—under the first call for proposals for the NER300 program.
Funding for the program comes from the sale of 300 million emission allowances from the New Entrants Reserve (NER) (hence the name) set up for the third phase of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). The funds from the sales are to be distributed to projects selected through two rounds of calls for proposals, covering 200 and 100 million allowances respectively.
Iveco to supply 115 natural gas Daily Vehicles to TNT Express Italy
December 07, 2012
|Iveco Daily Natural Power vehicles awaiting delivery. Click to enlarge.|
Iveco contracted to deliver 115 Daily Natural Power light commercial vehicles to TNT Express Italy by 2013. The methane gas-powered vehicles will be used by TNT for its express courier activities in the Rome area as well as other parts of Central Italy.
The New Daily Natural Power is equipped with a 100 kW, 3.0L, in-line 4-cylinder Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT) Industrial CNG engine with three-way catalytic converter, using a stoichiometric combustion regime that results in exhaust emissions well below the European EEV limits. The system can detect the composition of the gas used and is able to adapt the actual air/fuel ratio accordingly, in order to maintain low emissions without sacrificing performance.
American and European Standards organizations agree to strengthen transatlantic cooperation on standards for electric vehicles
December 06, 2012
Cooperation on eMobility standardization was the focus of discussion during a Transatlantic Roundtable organized by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which took place in Brussels on 28-29 November.
The event brought together technical experts from industry, government, and other stakeholders to compare and discuss standardization priorities for electric vehicles (EVs) outlined in the October 2011 Report of the CEN-CENELEC Focus Group on European Electro-Mobility and the April 2012 Standardization Roadmap for Electric Vehicles – Version 1.0, developed by the ANSI Electric Vehicles Standards Panel (EVSP). (Earlier post.)
EEA: Traffic pollution still harmful to health in many parts of Europe
November 27, 2012
|Trend in emissions of air pollutants from transport in EEA-32: PM2.5, CO, SOx, NMVOC, NOx. Source: EEA. Click to enlarge.|
Transport in Europe is still responsible for damaging levels of air pollutants and a quarter of EU greenhouse gas emissions, despite some progress in reducing the impacts from transport. Many of the resulting environmental problems can be addressed by stepping up efforts to meet new EU targets, according to the latest report from the European Environment Agency (EEA).
The EEA’s annual report under the Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM) assesses the environmental impact of transport across Europe. There have been some improvements over recent years, although these can be partly attributed to reduced economic activity during the recession. As the economic climate improves, the new EU transport targets should focus efforts to further reduce environmental impacts, the report says.