Skip to main content
Climate Action

CO₂ emission performance standards for cars and vans

Passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (vans) are respectively responsible for around 16% and 3% of total EU emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas driving climate change.

To help reduce emissions, the EU has a Regulation that sets CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and vans (Regulation (EU) 2019/631).

With stricter CO2 emission targets in place since 2020, the average CO2 emissions from all new passenger cars registered in Europe fell by 27% between 2019 and 2022, while the average emissions from new vans dropped by 10%. The main driver of this decrease in emissions is the surge in zero-emission vehicles, which respectively amounted to 13.4% and 6% of the 2022 EU (and Norway and Iceland) new car and van fleet.

On 19 April 2023, the European Parliament and the Council amended the Regulation  to strengthen the CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and vans, and bring them in line with the EU’s ambition to reach climate neutrality by 2050. This amendment strengthened the emission targets applying from 2030 and set a 100% emission reduction target for both cars and vans from 2035 onwards.


The amended Regulation (EU) 2019/631 will:

  • contribute to reaching at least 55% net greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2030 compared to 1990 as well as achieving climate neutrality by 2050, in line with the European Climate Law;
  • provide benefits to EU citizens and vehicle users as a result of the wider deployment of clean and affordable zero-emission vehicles,
  • spur innovation in zero-emission technologies, strengthening the EU’s technological leadership of the automotive value chain and stimulating employment in the EU.

Target levels

Below are the EU fleet-wide CO2 emission targets set in the Regulation:

2020 to 2024

  • Cars: 95 g CO2/km
  • Vans: 147 g CO2/km

These target levels refer to the NEDC emission test procedure.

2025 to 2034

The targets that will apply from 2025 onwards are based on the WLTP (Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure) and were set out in Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2023/1623:

  • Cars:  93,6 g CO2/km (2025-2029) and 49,5 g CO2/km (2030-2034)
  • Vans: 153,9 g CO2/km (2025-2029) and 90,6 g CO2/km (2030-2034)

From 2035 onwards, the EU fleet-wide CO2 emission target for both cars and vans is 0 g CO2/km, corresponding to a 100% reduction.

The annual specific emission targets of each manufacturer are based on these EU fleet-wide targets, taking into account the average mass of its registered new vehicles. Since 2021, those specific emission targets are based on the WLTP.

The manufacturer targets for the years 2021-2024 are calculated in accordance with point 4 of Annex I (parts A and B) to Regulation (EU) 2019/631, using the values set out in Annex II to Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/2087.

The manufacturer targets from 2025 onwards are calculated in accordance with point 6 of Annex I (parts A and B) to Regulation (EU) 2019/631, using the values set out in Annex II to Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2023/1623.

Incentive mechanism for zero- and low-emission vehicles (ZLEV)

From 2025 to 2029, a ZLEV crediting system will apply both for car and van manufacturers. The system will alleviate a manufacturer’s specific emission target if its share of new ZLEV (vehicles with emissions between 0 and 50 g CO2/km) registered in a given year exceeds the following benchmarks:

  • Cars: 25% ZLEV
  • Vans: 17% ZLEV

A one percentage point exceedance of the ZLEV benchmark will increase the manufacturer’s CO2 target (in g CO2/km) by one percent. The alleviation of the emission target will be capped at maximum 5% to safeguard the environmental integrity of the Regulation.

To calculate the ZLEV share in a manufacturer’s fleet, an accounting rulegive a greater weight to ZLEVs with lower CO2 emissions. An additional multiplier may apply for cars registered in Member States with a low share and number of ZLEVs registered in 2017.

Penalties for excess emissions

If the average COemissions of a manufacturer's fleet exceed its specific emission target in a given year, the manufacturer must pay – for each of its new vehicles registered in that year – an excess emissions premium of €95 per g/km of target exceedance.


Different manufacturers can act jointly to meet their emissions target. When forming a pool, manufacturers must respect the rules of competition law. Pooling between car and van manufacturers is not possible.

Exemptions and derogations

Manufacturers responsible for fewer than 1 000 new cars or fewer than 1 000 new vans registered in the EU per year are exempt from meeting a specific emission target in the following year, unless they voluntarily apply for a derogation.


Manufacturers may apply for a derogation from their specific emission target with the following conditions:

  • A “small-volume” manufacturer (responsible for less than 10 000 new cars or less than 22 000 new vans registered per year) can propose its own derogation target, based on the criteria set in Article 10 of the Regulation.
  • A “niche” car manufacturer (responsible for between 10 000 and 300 000 new cars registered per year) can apply for a derogation for the years until 2028, included. The derogation targets are calculated as set out in Article 10(4) of the Regulation and in point 5 of Part A of its Annex I. Feel free to access the values used to calculate the “niche” derogation target from 2025 onwards.

For more information, look at our Derogations folder.


To promote the development of new and advanced technologies reducing CO2 emissions from vehicles, manufacturers may obtain emission credits for cars and vans which are equipped with innovative technologies (eco-innovations) whose full CO2 savings are impossible to demonstrate during their type-approval.

The manufacturer must demonstrate these savings based on independently verified data. The maximum emission credits for these eco-innovations per manufacturer are 7 g CO2/km per year until 2024, 6 g CO2/km from 2025 to 2029, and 4 g CO2/km from 2030 to 2034. As of 2025, the efficiency improvements for air conditioning systems will become eligible as eco-innovations.

For more information, look at our Eco-innovations folder.

In-service verification

Manufacturers must ensure that the CO2 emissions recorded in the certificates of conformity of their vehicles and the in-service CO2 emissions of such vehicles correspond. Type-approval authorities must verify this correspondence in selected vehicles, as well as the presence of any strategies to artificially improve the vehicle’s performance during type-approval tests. 

In case deviations or artificial strategies are detected, type-approval authorities must report those to the Commission, who will take them into account when calculating the average specific emissions of a manufacturer. Authorities must also ensure the correction of the certificates of conformity, and may take additional measures as set out in the Type Approval Regulation

Find more information in our In-service verification folder.

Real-world emissions

To assess the real-world representativeness of the CO2 emissions and the fuel or energy consumption values determined during type-approval, as well as to prevent the growing of the gap between emissions tested in the laboratory and real-world emissions, the Commission is collecting real-world data from cars and vans using on-board fuel consumption monitoring (OBFCM) devices, starting with vehicles first registered in 2021.

Find more information in our Real-world CO2 emissions folder.


Click on the + signs for more information.


Click on the + signs for more information.