CO2 and Vans

Investigation of emission regulation of light duty vehicles and small vans

In the latest call within the DG ENV framework contract on vehicle emissions, the consortium of TNO, AEA, Íkopol, CE, IHS Global Insight, Ricardo and Transport & Mobility Leuven answered a service request by the European Commission on CO2 emissions of vans and light duty vehicles (LDV).  

The objectives of the project were:

  • To investigate the feasibility of a 147g/km target
  • To define the modalities for reaching that target in a cost-effective manner, including a review of utility parameters
  • To support the EC in the process of writing the Impact Assessment  

The role of Transport & Mobility Leuven was situated in the second and third parts of the project. We contributed to the sensitivity analysis of the regulation's expected impact with a review of the potential shift from vans to cars (for passenger transport) and from LDVs to HDVs (for freight) using the TREMOVE model. Given the limited incremental costs resulting from the regulation, the expected shift is hardly significant. It was noteworthy, however, that petrol powered LDVs became a bit more attractive again, due to the decrease in fuel costs as a share of total ownership costs, typically an advantage of diesel vehicles.

The analysis of the effects for society made it apparent that national budgets may suffer from the new measure. The fiscal income from excise duties on fuel would likely decrease more than can be compensated for by the increased VAT income from higher selling prices of more efficient vehicles. However, a silver lining is the expected increase of employment in research and production. Additionally, an improvement to the trade balance is likely as the dependency on imported fuel decreases.


The report is available here: finalreport_co2_lcv.pdf



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