CO2 and Cars

EU passenger car CO2 emissions limits

Within the DG ENV framework contract on vehicle emissions, the consortium of TNO, AEA, Íkopol, CE, IHS Global Insight, Ricardo and TML answered a first service request by the European Commission on CO2 emissions from passenger cars.

The aim of this project was to advise the Commission on CO2 limit values and how they can be achieved.
In the first phase, we reviewed the technological options to provide insight into state-of-the-art vehicle emission reduction possibilities. This included setting up abatement cost curves.
In the second phase, we reviewed utility parameters for vehicles, which have the potential to improve the match between vehicle classification/utility and CO2 emissions. Footprint and transport capacity were the main candidates.
We went from theoretical values to practical ones in task 3, where we evaluated different modalities to reach a given emission target (95g/km by 2020).
In task 4 we introduced new technology and gauged the effects on consumer behaviour. This was the main contribution of TML. In a first subtask, we looked at the possibility of calculating the amount of driven kilometres/vehicle type into the emission targets, and the impact of this on the costs. In the second subtask, we studied the rebound effects of more severe emissions regulations (lower fuel usage would result in lower driving costs, which may encourage people to drive more - on the other hand the cost of buying a car might increase, so that the amount of cars sold could decrease).

In a next request, we investigated the emission regulation for lorries and small vans (class N1). TML evaluated the shift to other vehicle types.


The final report is available here or on the website of the European Commission:



funded by

European Commission, DG Environment


TNO (NL), Ricardo (UK), IHS Global Insight (UK), Íkopol (DE), CE DELFT (NL) and AEA (UK)


Tim Breemersch

+32 16 74.51.23
reference: 09.29