The provisional agreement between the European institutions on the 2020 CO2 emissions targets for vans could hinder investments in future clean technologies, says the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA),  which is currently studying the full details of the deal.

The target for vans of 147 g CO2/km is very ambitious, with independent research showing that it will necessitate full hybrid technologies. Given the current economic climate with plummeting van sales, it is difficult to invest extra cash upfront in more costly technologies for the future. Lower production volumes also do not allow for the same economies of scale as for cars. Furthermore, there is a huge diversity between Class I, II and III vans, meaning that there are few ‘one size fits all’ technological solutions.

«In this context, super-credits provide concrete incentives for manufacturers to invest billions of euros in ultra low-emission vans, despite there being extremely low consumer demand for these at the moment» stated ACEA Secretary General Ivan Hodac. Indeed, according to the European Environment Agency only 1% of vans sold last year were liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas, and just 0.5% were electric.