The European Union needs to dramatically toughen weak CO2 targets for commercial vans to spur a shift to electric models and phase out fossil-fuel sales entirely by 2035, said European campaign group Transport and Environment.
T&E said an analysis of van sales in 2020 showed no change in CO2 emissions from 2017 and found the EU’s CO2 targets are so weak that most manufacturers can meet them without selling a single zero-emissions van.
“Standards which entered into force at the beginning of 2020 were supposed to make vans cleaner, but van makers have had to do almost nothing to reach them,” T&E freight manager James Nix said in a statement on Monday. “With pathetic CO2 targets, the boom in e-commerce is becoming a nightmare for our planet.”
EU sales of electric and plug-in hybrid passenger cars almost trebled to over 1 million vehicles last year, accounting for more than 10 percent of overall sales, thanks to stringent CO2 targets and government subsidies.
But electric-van sales have languished at about 2 percent of the market.
T&E said the EU needs to bring forward its current CO2 reduction target of 31 percent forward to 2027 from 2030 and aim for a far more ambitious target of at least a 60 percent reduction by 2030.
The group said the EU should set a 100 percent CO2 reduction target by 2035, effectively banning combustion engine vans.