The EU Environment Committee has voted in favour of proposed legislation, put forth by UK Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies, to electronically limit the speed of new vans.
The proposal, which will come into effect from 1 January 2014, will limit the top speed of new vans to 74mph (120km/h).
Meanwhile, a vote to tighten the current 2020 targets on the average level of CO2 emissions for van fleets to less than 147g/km was rejected, although stricter limits are likely to be introduced for 2025.
The decision to retain the current CO2 targets for 2020 was welcomed by van manufacturers, who will benefit from the added planning security this provides.
The proposal to cap the speed of new vans was not only popular amongst MEPs, but also with green transport groups who believe the move will encourage the supply of smaller engines and cut average van fuel consumption and emissions by at least 6 per cent a year.
Green groups have been less supportive of the EU’s reluctance to impose stricter emissions limits, claiming that the 2020 target is "not very ambitious when compared with the 95g/km limit for cars". They believe a sub-100g/km figure should be introduced for vans to boost the uptake of more advanced technologies.
The European Parliament however has resisted pressure from green groups and has set a target for van fleets to cut average emissions to between 105g/km and 120g/km of CO2 by 2025, with the precise figure to be finalised in 2017.
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