EU Regulation on Passenger Car Mandatory CO2 Emissions Limits Updated to Increase the Average Vehicle Mass Value
A fundamental part of the European Union Regulation specifying the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions limits that vehicle manufacturers must meet for all of the passenger cars they register within the EU (EC Regulation No. 443/2009), is the formula which allows the specific CO2 emissions target for a particular vehicle to be calculated based on the vehicle’s unladen weight.
Whilst the requirements of EC Regulation No. 443/2009 are intended to ensure that the average CO2 emissions of all passenger cars registered within the EU during a given calendar year does not exceed 130 g/km, the application of the CO2 emissions targets are directly related to the vehicle's unladen mass. In practice, this means that a vehicle of "average" unladen mass would have to meet an emissions target of 130 g/km, whereas a lighter vehicle would have to meet a more stringent target and a heavier vehicle would have to meet a less stringent target.
When specifying the requirements in the original Regulation, the European Commission looked at the unladen mass values for all passenger cars registered within the EU in recent years and determined that the average unladen mass of passenger cars registered in the EU was 1372 kg. Therefore, the formula specified in (EC) No. 443/2009, includes an average mass value (referred to in the Regulation as M0) of 1372.0.
To ensure that this average mass value remains representative of the actual vehicles being registered within the EU, the Regulation included a clause which requires the European Commission to review the average mass value every three years, using vehicle mass data from actual vehicle registrations during the preceding three calendar years. Furthermore, the Regulation specified that the first of these reviews should be undertaken by 31st October, 2014.
Using registration data from calendar years 2011, 2012 and 2013, the European Commission undertook the necessary review and determined that the average unladen mass of passenger cars registered within the EU during those three years had increased to 1392.4 kg; an increase of 20.4 kg. As a result of this review, Commission Delegated Regulation, (EU) No. 2015/6, was published in the Official Journal on 7th January, 2015. This new Regulation amends (EC) No. 443/2009 on CO2 emissions limits to specify that an average mass value (M0) of 1392.4 is to be used in the specific CO2 emissions target formula from 1st January, 2016 onwards.