The European Union needs to dramatically toughen the CO2 targets for commercial vans, claims European climate campaign group Transport and Environment (T&E). It also said that the weak CO2 targets for the commercial vans should be strengthened to spur a shift to electric vehicles and phase out fossil-fuel vehicle sales entirely by 2035.
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As T&E claims, an analysis of the van sales in 2020 revealed there was no change in CO2 emissions from 2017. It also found the EU's CO2 targets are so weak that most of the vehicle manufacturers can meet them without selling even a single zero-emission van.
As Reuters quoted James Nix, Freight Manager, T&E, standards which entered into force at the beginning of 2020, were supposed to make vans cleaner, but van manufacturers have had to do almost nothing to reach those targets. "With pathetic CO2 targets, the boom in e-commerce is becoming a nightmare for our planet," Nix further said.
Sales of electric and plug-in hybrid passenger cars in the European Union almost trebled to over 1 million vehicles in 2020, accounting for more than 10% of overall sales, thanks to the stringent CO2 targets and government subsidies. However, electric van sales have languished at about 2% of the market.
T&E said the EU needs to bring forward its current CO2 reduction target of 31% forward to 2027 from 2030 and aim for a far more ambitious target of at least a 60% reduction by 2030.
The group said the EU should set a 100% CO2 reduction target by 2035, effectively banning combustion engine vans.
T&E said the EU should prevent van makers from building plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vans. Groups like T&E are pushing for PHEV passenger car models to be phased out in the next few years, arguing that owners do not charge them properly and rely too much on the fossil-fuel engine.
Few automakers have developed PHEV commercial vans, but Ford Motor Co said in March that the next iteration of its Transit van will include a plug-in hybrid version.