However, the commercial van market is not seeing much of an eco-friendly change. The European Union (EU) has set targets for reducing emissions from commercial vans.
But, according to
Reuters, European campaign group Transport and Environment (T&E) says this hasn’t been enough. To encourage manufacturers to build electric vans, CO2 targets must be toughened.
The European Union's 2020 emission reduction targets
T&E analyzed data on van sales in 2020 and said that there were no changes in CO2 emissions from 2017. James Nix, T&E Freight manager, said that EU’s standards that came into force in 2020, "were supposed to make vans cleaner, but vanmakers have had to do almost nothing to reach them."
The targets were so weak that manufacturers were able to meet them without selling any zero-emission vans. The
EUcurrently has a 31% emission reduction goal for vans between 2025 and 2030. T&E says they need to aim for a much higher target of 60%.
How do reduction targets affect electric van production?
As reported by Reuters, electric and hybrid car sales have reached over 1 million vehicles because of strict CO2 targets and government subsidies. Compared to electric cars which make up 10% of overall sales, electric van sales only make up 2% of the market.
The emission reduction goals that the EU has set to reach by 2030 must be pushed higher to encourage van manufacturers to switch to electric. Currently, van manufacturers can meet emission goals without much effort.
If emission targets remain low, there are less incentives for van makers to build electric vehicles. They will continue to rely on fossil-fuel engines for their vehicles.
How strict should reduction targets be?
T&E is pushing for the EU to make a real impact on the environment by targeting a 60% emission reduction by 2030. The group said that the EU should set a 100% reduction target by 2035. The main goal of T&E is eventually banning internal combustion or gas engines to reduce CO2 emissions produced by transportation.
Especially with the uptick of deliveries from eCommerce sales, more needs to be done to reduce emissions. A beneficial step would be switching commercial van engines from gas to electric. For this to happen, reduction targets must be stricter.