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European Parliament votes to introduce CO2 limits in EU for new vans and light commercial goods vehicles; initial target of 175 g/km

The European Parliament has voted to introduce CO2 limits in the EU for new vans and other light commercial goods vehicles. The upper weight limit for this category is 3.5 tonnes when loaded. The rules, agreed with Member States, include incentives to make highly-efficient vehicles as well as penalties for manufacturers that miss the targets.

Under the terms of an agreed phase-in, the average emissions of 70% of a manufacturer’s fleet must meet an initial target of 175 g CO2 limit in 2014; 75% in 2015; 80% in 2016; and the average of all its vehicles by 2017. The legislation also sets a limit of 147g CO2/km to be achieved by 2020. Manufacturers registering fewer than 22,000 new vehicles in a year may apply for an exemption from the rules. The targets reflect a less ambitious compromise than many MEPs had wanted, but in line with an earlier agreement reached with Council.

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.

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 a range of penalties rising to €95 (US$129) per gram from 2019.

The legislation also allows consideration of CO2 savings achieved through the use of innovative technologies. The total contribution of those technologies to reducing the specific emissions target of a manufacturer may be up to 7 g CO2/km. The Commission will adopt detailed provisions for a procedure to approve such innovative technologies by 31 December 2012.

The supplier or manufacturer must be accountable for the CO2 savings achieved through the use of the innovative technologies; the innovative technologies must make a verified contribution to CO2 reduction; and the innovative technologies must not be covered by the standard test cycle CO2 measurement or by mandatory provisions due to complementary additional measures.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) issued a statement saying that the new CO2 legislation for light commercial vehicles sets extremely challenging targets in particular for the long term.

Environmental NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) called the legislation weak, saying that the original European Commission proposal of 135g CO2/km in 2020 was weakened under enormous pressure from vehicle manufacturers, who said that their industry was in economic crisis and that improving van fuel efficiency at the rate needed would be prohibitively expensive.

T&E pointed to a June 2010 report by TNO/CE Delft finding that by returning to the engine power levels of 1997 (“optimal engine sizing”), fuel costs and CO2 emissions could be cut by up to 16%, vehicle purchase costs by up to 10%, and total cost of ownership by up to 12%.




Wow-something similar will have to be considered in the US soon. Imagine the enormous pressure from US vehicle manufacturers who want to be free to sell as many giant pickups/SUV's as possible. They'd use the old story line that improving vehicle fuel efficiency at the rate needed would be prohibitively expensive. Its crap, the technology is not only available, in many cases its already in production.

Henry Gibson

There was a VOLKSEMPHAENGER for broadcasts in Germany 70 years ago and it was required not to listen to any other broadcast. So what is now needed is a VOLKSWAGEN, and no other car may be sold or operated in the interests of the carbon god and its high priests and HOHEBEAMPTER. Of course living flats and houses will also be limited as to carbon releases to a very small number of square meters per person no matter how wealthy.

In the mean time the modern European HOCHADLER, the EP, will pretend that lowering CO2 releases by ordering and building the lowest technology and fast to build nuclear reactors as demonstrated in Korea and China and Romania, the CANDU, is not one of the most effective ways of lowering CO2 releases and expenses to the government when combined with facilities to convert German BRAUNKOHLE to diesel instead of importing diesel and burning the coal for electricity. The savings to Europe in money not spent for crude oil would far exceed the costs for Nuclear power plants. All live things, including people, and almost all rocks and soil are naturally radioactive.

Assume that the use of nuclear electricity killed a hundred people every year, but added a million hours to the lives of other people as it is known to do and more, do you sacrifice many to save 100, whilst Autobahnen and motorways and ordinary roads demand the sacrifice of tens of thousands for the convenience of the remaining every year.

All of the actual "unusable" nuclear fission products now in storage would not fill a large part of the REICHTAG building much less a US Kmart store. Such storage in the Reichtag would result in fewer deaths than the Berlin Autobahnen.


HG...Multiple pollutants kill many thousands of us every year but we stopped counting. Most cancers are created by pollutants. Many heart/circulation problems too. Even many brain disorders are aggravated by pollutants.

Highways kill almost 5000 people (and seriously injure many young healthy Americans) a year in USA alone and nobody complains. Robotic drivers could reduce those fatalities.

However, I agree with you that well designed and properly maintained nuclear power plants would kill a lot less people than coal fired and NG/SG power plants.

Henry Gibson

I just found an article commenting upon a surprisingly large number of fatal accidents involving natural gas. And there are also the ones involving propane and butane.

People can stop any development work on improved engines to lower CO2 releases and implement known hydraulic hybrid techniques for a savings of 50 percent or more in fuel in some standard tests.

They can also be required to drive at an efficient speed.

Bosch is just sitting on the Artemis technology that they purchased after it demonstrated efficiency increases without even using the smallest engine possible, but just using the standard engine that was tested prior to conversion.

The theoretical NOAX INNAS hydraulic hybrid would use their innovative mechanical, not electric, pumps, motors and hydraulic transformers. At least one steam locomotive shipped to North Africa had electrically operated valves that anticipated the Artemis idea by half a century or more.

DLM and Roger Waller have demonstrated a steam car. A miniature Junkers or Pescara free piston compressor could give the vehicle infinite range on air compressed by diesel fuel after the steam ran out.

When coal was short in Switzerland the use of electrically heated steam lokomotiven was succesful. Such machines should be kept in reserve at the Chunnel since they require no moisture sensitive electronics and are less than one-eighth the cost of diesels. The frequency does not matter and they also could have heaters that ran on 700 volt third rail at little extra cost.

Because of the tax on diesel, electric operation may be cheaper than diesel and long gaps can be made in simple alternating or direct current third rail new electrification systems. No power peaks are required for starting such trains. A diesel fired furnace boiler can give longer range at very little extra cost and lower NOX as demonstrated by Roger Waller.

All countries with large indigenous Coal deposits should use them for making liquid automotive fuels and chemicals instead of using imported crude oil.

If ordinary %4 fuel uranium for European reactors were reformulated with about 80 percent Thorium and put into a CANDU reactor, a thorium cycle could be started within a week.

A version that used about 90 percent thorium and the highly unexplosive mix of plutonium isotopes from spent fuel rods that also could have weapons plutonium in it to render it useless for bombs would eliminate all plutonium eventually and very usefully if desired in CANDU reactors and some others even. Every pound of any kind of plutonium used in such a cycle produces heat equivalent to 3 million pounds of coal and any worries about the long term storage of plutonium vanishes.

Plutonium obtained from the reprocessing of MOX fuel in France is not usually used but it can be mixed with thorium and used completely over time in the neutron efficient CANDU reactor. This secondary extracted plutonium has such large quantities of neutron and gamma emitting isotopes that a bomb is impossible to make with it, and the use of centrifuges to make simpler uranium bombs is far more easy and cheap to accomplish.

Reprocessing of uranium and thorium fuels should be required by permanent treaties similar to the one banning the production of FREONs. Automatic processes can make the reprocessing more than safe enough and cheap. The uranium recovered has a low level of radioactivity similar to natural uranium found in most rocks and soils

I was recently told that the Shippingport reactor was a net producer of fissionable fuel from thorium even with its light water moderator. But without reprocessing, the fission products would poison and stop the reactor and require new fuel.


Fred H

Nordic wrote:
"Wow-something similar will have to be considered in the US soon. ..."

Hi Nordic, you might be interested to learn that the US already has something similar. It is called the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) Standard.

It requires new vehicles up to 8500 lbs (3855 kg, 10% heavier than the EU definition) to have a fleetwide average of 298 g/mile (185 g/km, 6% more than the first 100% EU standard) by 2016 (one year before the 100% EU standard).

A law from 2007 also requires CAFE standards to lead up to 35 mpg (250 g/mile (155 g/km)) by 2020 for the combined new passenger car and light truck fleetwide average.

These numbers are of course not directly comparable, because of different testing methods, but the similarity is evident.

More details at:


Since vehicles are exported worldwide, an international standard would be more efficient. However, such a compromise would be very difficult to arrive at but not impossible. It should be easy to block entry to vehicles not meeting the international standards.We are doing with toys, why not with vehicles?


However, I agree with you that well designed and properly maintained nuclear power plants would kill a lot less people than coal fired and NG/SG power plants.

Harvey, do you have hard stats on NG/SG power plant deaths from pollution?


There are about 40% less polluting and a very far cry from 0%. Using SG instead of NG will make it worse. Pollution from Shale Gas (SG) extraction is a lot more than what the general public has been told.

In the long term, a SG power plant may produce as much total pollution as a recent coal fired power plant.

HG solution (Nuclear) may be better.

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