The EU regulations on reducing CO2 emissions from road vehicles

Regulations | VO (EU) No. 631/2019 und VO (EU) No. 1242/2019

Regulation (EU) 2019/631, adopted in April 2019, sets CO2 emission performance standards for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (in grams of CO2 per kilometre). As of 1 January 2020, it has replaced Regulation (EU) 443/2009 on cars and Regulation (EU) 510/2011 on light commercial vehicles. The regulation stipulates new fleet-wide emission standards that will apply as of 2025 and 2030. Fleet-wide performance standards mean that the average emissions of all cars registered in the European Union in a year must not exceed the allowed value. In other words, not every new car has to be in line with the fleet-wide target.

This regulatory approach has been applied in the US since 1978. The EU passed its first fleet-wide CO2 emission standard 2012: 130 g CO2/km for passenger cars. It was introduced after the failure of a voluntary commitment by car manufacturers to reduce CO2 emissions in the 2000s. From 2020 (and without exceptions from 2021) a sharply reduced fleet-wide emission standard of 95 g CO2/km will apply.

In addition, Regulation (EU) 2019/1242, approved in mid-2019, was the first to stipulate fleet-wide CO2 emission standards for heavy goods vehicles. It was introduced following yearlong negotiations; its standards will become effective in two stages from 2025 and 2030. For the time being, they will apply to all heavy goods vehicles with a total permissible laden weight of more than 16 tonnes. Additional regulations (for instance for lighter commercial vehicles, truck trailers and semi-trailers, buses) may follow in the coming years.

Regulation (EU) 2019/631 sets CO2 emission performance standards for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Further information provides a document (in German) describing the technical details of this regulation with commentary.

Update Date: 07.05.2020

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