Road transport in the EU Emissions Trading System: an engineering perspective

The introduction of mandatory CO2 standards for passenger cars in the European Union led to a significant decrease in the level of CO2 emissions for new vehicles, as well an increased deployment of vehicle efficiency technologies. This paper assesses the effect on technology innovation and deployment if mandatory CO2 standards in the EU were replaced by including road transport in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). It is concluded that to reach a similar level of technology innovation as expected for the EU’s 2020/21 CO2 target of 95 grams per kilometer a price of about €370 per ton of CO2 would be required (current price: €5).