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17 July 2013

Joint Procurement of EVs and PHEVs in Sweden

The City of Stockholm and the utility company Vattenfall initiated a joint procurement for Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) in 2011. The group of 296 public and private buyers concluded a framework agreement with an estimated purchase volume of 1,250 cars and light delivery vehicles per year.

Minimum specifications were set for energy consumption (0.37 kWh/km) and CO emissions (50 g CO2/km) following (Clean Vehicles Directive methodology 1). 300 vehicles have been purchased within the first 1.5 years, with savings of greater than 34 tonnes CO.

Download the full case study here.

9 July 2013

Catalonia awards Ecolabel for vehicle fleets

The Catalan Ecolabel has a new category for vehicle fleets. The Directorate-General for Environmental Quality of the Ministry of Territory and Sustainability of the Government of Catalonia (Spain) thereby aims to reduce pollutant emissions from transport (PM10 and NO2) and promote sustainable urban transport.

The environmental criteria of the label include fleet management, energy-efficient driving, the type and performance of the vehicles, as well as other aspects that demonstrate a commitment to improving the environmental credentials of the vehicle fleet. Each of these criteria has several subcriteria. Some of the subcriteria are compulsory while others are optional, depending on the type of vehicle in question. When purchasing public transport vehicles for instance training drivers on energy-efficient driving needs to be built in to qualify for the Ecolabel. In addition, extra points can be awarded for exceeding the requirements.

Since the introduction of the vehicle fleet category to the Ecolabel in December 2012, six companies have applied for and obtained the Emblem of Guarantee of Environmental Quality for vehicle fleets in Catalonia. The label has not been used in tender processes yet. However, the Directorate-General for Environmental Quality has also developed a guide on green purchasing of vehicles (pdf, in Spanish), which suggests criteria for the tender process that are in line with the label.

More information on the label’s new category for vehicle fleets is available in Catalan and Spanish on the website of the Generalitat de Catalunya.


5 July 2013

Report identifies cost-effective options for cutting bus emissions

A new report assesses a range of low-carbon fuels and technologies, which can reduce well-to-wheel CO₂ emissions for urban buses in the UK in a cost-effective manner. It concludes that a wide range of innovative technologies can cut carbon emissions and in the UK context of fuel prices and subsidies also lead to paybacks in the short term. The report was commissioned by LowCVP, a not-for-profit public-private partnership working on accelerating the shift towards lower carbon vehicles and fuels in the UK.

The technologies the study examines include light weighting, battery electric and various hybrid architectures such as stop-start, mild, diesel electric, mechanical flywheel, and hydraulic hybrids. According to the report, a number of technologies (such as full electrical hybrid) have the potential to achieve CO₂ emission reductions of more than 30 percent. However, it also notes that the most effective technologies can come at high investment costs with payback periods as long as 20 years. Other technologies such as mild hybrid and flywheel hybrid on the other hand have payback periods of less than four years and can still achieve emission reductions of up to 20 percent.

In terms of fuels, the report covers among others compressed natural gas, biomethane, hydrotreated vegetable oil, second generation biodiesel and hydrogen. It highlights biomethane as a potentially attractive option to replace natural gas. The report presents roadmaps for when different technologies are likely to be ready to be deployed into the UK bus market. For more information, please find the report on the LowCVP website.

1 July 2013

Growing gap between tested and real-life emissions

A new report by an independent research organisation shows that the average discrepancy between CO₂ emissions of cars in official tests and what they emit in practice has increased from less than 10% in 2001 to 25% in 2011.

In Europe, fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions of new cars are determined through an approval process that involves tests under laboratory conditions using the European Driving Cycle. The test results provide the basis for consumer information, CO₂ regulation and CO₂-based vehicle taxation.

The report by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) analyses several databases of on-road driving data of nearly 500,000 vehicles from various countries in Europe. The increase in the gap between tested and real-life emissions was especially pronounced after 2007-2008 when several Member States shifted to CO2-based vehicle taxation systems and a mandatory EU CO2 regulation for new cars was introduced.

The gap is most pronounced for vehicles of German luxury car maker BMW. Its average gap between test and real-world emissions is 30%, while at the other end of the scale, Toyota’s gap is half this level (15%). In 2005, the average difference was 12% for BMW and 10% for Toyota.  The full report is available on the ICCT website.

The Clean Fleets working group on Life Cycle Costing will among other issues explore ways in which the gap between tested and real-life emissions can be taken into account when procuring clean vehicles. If you would like to contribute to the discussions and join the group, please contact info@clean-fleets.eu.

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