Our industry’s opinion on the decarbonisation of transport

The European Commission communication on decarbonising transport is the first step towards new regulations for cars, vans and Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDVs). The Commission will propose for 2025 CO2 targets for cars and vans, a new measurement standard (VECTO) and a monitoring and reporting regulation for HDVs. 

We believe that these new CO2 regulations are an opportunity for the European industry to demonstrate aluminium’s potential for decarbonising transport. However, to be truly effective, the regulations must be technology neutral, cost effective to implement and based on a thorough impact assessment.

Increased use of aluminium to lightweight vehicles is a cost-efficient way to reduce emissions. A study by environmental consultancy Ricardo-AEA demonstrated that encouraging lightweighting in cars would make it around 16% cheaper for manufacturers to reach the 2025 CO2 target. It is also a highly cost-efficient way to improve efficiency in many types of HDVs. For trucks carrying heavy loads and city buses, any investment in lightweighting will pay for itself in only a few years.

What we hope the final proposals will contain

  1. Setting CO2 regulations for vehicles that are technology neutral, allowing manufacturers to realise the full benefit of lightweighting. This can be done by changing the regulation from a mass-based to a size-based (footprint) approach or by basing future CO2 targets on the same percentage reduction for all manufacturers. 
  1. Leveraging lightweighting technologies and battery innovations, speeding the uptake of electric vehicles. In parallel, supporting faster expansion of vehicle charging infrastructure.
  1. Supporting wider use of innovative and recyclable materials, reducing the overall environmental footprint of road transport.
  1. Introducing revised testing procedures to measure the emissions and fuel consumption of vehicles, better reflecting real-world conditions.
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