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Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from light commercial vehicles

In 2007, the European Council made a firm undertaking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 % by 2020. This Regulation forms part of that initiative by setting limits for the CO2 emissions from light commercial vehicles, whilst maintaining the competitiveness of the European automotive industry.


Regulation (EU) No 510/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2011 setting emission performance standards for new light commercial vehicles as part of the Union’s integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles (Text with EEA relevance).


This Regulation establishes performance requirements for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new light commercial vehicles.

The average level of CO2 emissions from these vehicles must not exceed 175 grams of CO2 per kilometre as from 2017 (the requirement will be introduced gradually as from 2014). From 2020, the level is not to exceed 147 grams of CO2 per kilometre (subject to confirmation of the feasibility of such a target).

Vehicles concerned

Vehicles concerned by this Regulation are those of category N1, namely vehicles designed and built to transport goods (vans), with a maximum weight of 3.5 tonnes, not exceeding 2610 kilograms when unladen.

Specific emission rates

From 1 January 2014, light commercial vehicle manufacturers must ensure that average specific emissions of CO2 * do not exceed the emission targets set by this Regulation (Annex I). These targets are to be applied gradually to new light commercial vehicles registered in the EU and will concern:

  • 70 % of vehicles in 2014;
  • 75 % of vehicles in 2015;
  • 80 % of vehicles in 2016;
  • 100 % of vehicles from 2017.

In addition, a specific target is to apply to light commercial vehicles running on alternative fuels, composed of 85 % bioethanol (“E85”). Average specific emissions from such vehicles must be reduced by 5 % by 31 December 2015.

Manufacturers’ pools

Manufacturers of light commercial vehicles may form a pool and act jointly in order to meet the specific emissions targets.

Monitoring and reporting of average emissions

Each year from 1 January 2012, Member States will have to collect data for each new light commercial vehicle registered in their territory (e.g. manufacturer, type, specific CO2 emissions, and mass).

The Commission shall collect this data in a central register that it will make available to the public as from 30 June 2013. Based on this data, the Commission will provisionally calculate, for each manufacturer:

  • the average specific emissions of CO2 in the preceding calendar year;
  • the specific emissions target in the preceding calendar year;
  • the difference between its average specific emissions of CO2 in the preceding calendar year and its specific emissions target for that year.

Once checked by manufacturers, the Commission shall confirm these calculations by 31 October.


This Regulation grants the manufacturers of vans additional advantages for the production of vehicles with low emission rates (less than 50 grams per kilometre). Each low emission vehicle will count as 3.5 vehicles in 2014 and 2015, as 2.5 vehicles in 2016 and as 1.5 vehicles in 2017. This approach will help manufacturers to further reduce the average emissions from new vehicles. They will be able to claim this “extra” credit for a maximum of 25 000 vans between 2014 and 2017.

Excess emissions premium

From 2014, if vehicle emissions exceed targets, manufacturers will have to pay a premium calculated according to the excess emissions.

If the average CO2 emissions of a manufacturer’s car fleet exceed the threshold for one year from 2014, the manufacturer will have to pay a premium on the excess emissions recorded for each van. The amount of the premium is EUR 5 for the first gram per kilometre exceeded, EUR 15 for the second, EUR 25 for the third and EUR 95 for each additional kilometre. From 2019, the first gram per kilometre exceeded will cost EUR 95. This amount is the same as the premium for private cars.

Derogations for certain manufacturers

An independent manufacturer may obtain a derogation with respect to the specific emissions target if it produces fewer than 22 000 new light commercial vehicles in the European Union (EU) each year.


Suppliers or manufacturers may reduce their CO2 emissions by using innovative technologies which may contribute up to 7 grams of CO2/km.

Key terms of the Act
  • Average specific emissions of CO2: in relation to a manufacturer, the average of the specific emissions of CO2 of all light commercial vehicles of which it is the manufacturer.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EU) No 510/2011



OJ L 145, 31.5.2011

Last updated: 27.07.2011
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