Van Emissions Drop as Eco-Friendly Engines Dominate

Van Emissions Drop as Eco-Friendly Engines Dominate

Van Emissions Drop as Eco-Friendly Engines Dominate

The European Environment Agency has released new figures which show that new vans sold throughout the continent last year were less polluting than at any point in the past.

The agency reported that there was a 4.7 percent year-on-year dip in the typical carbon emissions that could be expected to be produced by the LCVs that were registered in 2017.

Regulations targeted at cutting the CO2 output of vans were initially introduced seven years ago, with this fall being the most significant progress made to date.

Any given LCV sold last year will emit 156 grams of carbon dioxide for every kilometre it travels. This is down by 7.7 grams compared with 2016.

What makes this achievement even more impressive is the fact that the initial targets set by the EU for carbon reduction by 2017 have actually been exceeded by 10 percent.

The UK is making a major contribution to this effort, with a 10 percent fall in emissions from new vans sold last year. It is one of a number of European countries leading the way with its efforts to fight climate change, offsetting some of the rises that are being seen in other parts of the continent.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Britain was the single biggest market for vans in the EU last year, accounting for 20 percent of all the LCVs sold. This put it ahead of France, which had 19 percent of sales, and Germany, with 15 percent.

The popularity of different van types and sizes was influential in determining whether or not countries were able to cut carbon emissions associated with new vans or see them rise.

On average the lowest emissions per kilometre were reported in Portugal, with new vans outputting just 133.2 grams of carbon dioxide.

The Czech Republic, on the other hand, actually saw its emissions rise by 26 percent, with analysts pointing out that this is chiefly due to the fact that customers there favour larger-capacity vans than in other countries.

In spite of this positive move towards a more eco-friendly end of the spectrum made by commercial vehicle manufacturers and customers across Europe, 96 percent of all vans registered in 2017 were powered by diesel engines. This puts fossil fuels firmly in control of the market and raises questions about the long-term sustainability of LCV operations.

The only way that this will change is if electric vans are released on a large scale and are shown to be affordable as well as viable.

Hybrid vans, including a version of the Transit Custom from Ford, could help to bridge this gap and overcome the issues with diesel engines while still providing plenty of range for operators who do not just want to drive in cities.

All-electric models will take a little more time to change the market, but things are likely to look incredibly different in a decade’s time when zero-emissions powertrains will have become the norm.

 

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