The European Commission is preparing to propose tighter CO2 emissions standards for vans, as part of a wider legislative push to reduce emissions from road transport and cut fuel bills, a draft regulation showed.
A draft text seen by Reuters last week showed the Commission intends to make mandatory a non-binding 2020 goal to limit average CO2 emissions from new cars to 95 grams per kilometre (g/km).
A separate draft showed it also plans to enforce a provisional goal to limit emissions from new vans to 147 g/km by the same date.
"The 2020 target of 147 g/km is confirmed as feasible," the proposed regulation said.
The new target will follow on from an existing goal to limit average emissions from new vans to 175 g/km by 2017. By the end of 2014, the Commission will assess the need for further targets in 2025 and 2030, the draft law said.
Van makers that miss the 2020 target will face fines of €95 per gram for every vehicle that exceeds the 147 g limit.
The Commission is expected to publish the proposals next month, before being finalised by EU member governments and the European Parliament.
Some industry representatives have said tougher binding standards, as part of EU efforts to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, would be extremely challenging for an industry suffering from overcapacity and economic recession.
Others have said the targets are achievable and would help to make Europe's struggling car industry more competitive as international rivals catch up with environmental standards.
Road transport is one of the few sectors with rapidly rising emissions. Between 1990 and 2008, emissions from the sector increased by 26 percent, according to Commission figures.
An impact assessment on the proposed new law, also seen by Reuters, says a roughly 25% reduction in car and van fuel consumption would save an estimated €25 billion per year.