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Reducing emissions from light commercial vehicles

The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive aimed at reducing emissions from light commercial vehicles. The proposed measures are part of the Commission's Auto Oil package, adopted on 18 June 1996, and are based on a rational analysis of the cost effectivene...
The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive aimed at reducing emissions from light commercial vehicles. The proposed measures are part of the Commission's Auto Oil package, adopted on 18 June 1996, and are based on a rational analysis of the cost effectiveness of measures designed to reduce emissions caused by road transport and achieve rigorous air quality targets.

Several categories of vehicles are covered by the proposal, namely: car-derived commercial vehicles, vans up to 3.5 tonnes, cars over 2.5 tonnes or with more than six seats, and off-road vehicles. These vehicles were identified by the Auto Oil programme as being one of the major sources of urban pollution.

The Commission is proposing to tighten up the requirements of Directive 96/69/EC, which came into force on 1 January 1997, the main aim of which is to reduce by some 40% the statutory limits for polluting emissions (carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and mass of particulates for diesel cars) for all new types of vehicles.

The measures now being proposed would be applied to new types of vehicles with effect from 1 January 2000 for vehicles in the lighter class, and with effect from 1 January 2001 for other vehicles. The Commission is also proposing applying to light commercial vehicles other additional measures, originally proposed for passenger cars only, in order to consolidate production and durability control procedures (e.g. on-board diagnostic (OBD) systems).

Lastly, it sets a target for a further reduction in polluting emissions by 2005 corresponding to an abatement of around half of polluting emissions compared with levels in the year 2000.

This long term objective gives the motor vehicle and equipment manufacturers a signal that they should continue with their research and development efforts in the field of environmental technologies. It is also intended to serve as a harmonized Community basis for the granting of tax incentives by Member States which wish to use this means of encouraging the supply of more environmentally-friendly vehicles.
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