CO2 Emissions Limits For Light Vans Introduced

The European Council has approved the first CO2 emission standards for small vans in the EU. The law introduces a limit of 175g CO2/km for the average CO2 emissions from light commercial vehicles registered in the EU.

It will apply to small vans of average mass while specific targets for individual vehicles will vary according to their weight. The target will be phased in between 2014 and 2017: in 2014, 70% of a manufacturer’s fleet will have to comply with it, rising to 75% in 2015 and 80% in 2016. From 2017, full compliance will be required from car makers.

In order to provide industry with planning certainty, a long-term target for CO2 emissions of light commercial vehicles in 2020 (147g CO2/km) has been included. The modalities for reaching the target are to be established by 1 January 2013 in a revision of the regulation.

To incentivise investment in new technologies, from 2014 onwards producers will have to pay a penalty if their fleet fails to meet the target. As in the legislation for cars, the penalty will depend on the amount by which manufacturers exceed the target. A maximum penalty of Eur95 per car for exceeding the target has been agreed.

The standards adopted apply to new commercial vehicles of up to a mass of 3.5 tons. By 2014, the Commission may propose to extend them to minibuses and vans of up to 12 tons.

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