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Motor Vehicles: Carbon Emissions

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many miles less polluting heavy goods vehicles and Euro emissions standards (a) 0, (b) I, (c) II, (d) III, (e) IV and (f) V vehicles travelled in the UK in 2008. (290301)

The Department for Transport does not hold these data. However, we have the following estimates on the proportion of the heavy goods vehicle fleet that met each Euro Standard in 2008. This was provided as part of a research project conducted by Transport Research Laboratory for the Department, to provide updated input to UK air quality emissions inventory modelling:

Percentage of the fleet at each Euro Standard (2008)


Pre Euro

Euro I

Euro II

Euro III

Euro IV












The UK heavy-duty vehicle fleet, in 2008, consisted of 316,800 rigid vehicles and 119,500 articulated vehicles. The average annual distance travelled was 28,500 miles for rigid vehicles, and 73,000 miles for articulated vehicles. Within these averages, however, data from road freight surveys suggest there is significant variation with vehicle age, with newer vehicles in general having higher annual mileages than older ones. Consequently the contribution of vehicles at lower Euro standards to total mileage will be lower than the fleet proportions alone would suggest.

In addition to the Euro standards, EU emissions directives also include a voluntary “Environmentally Enhanced Vehicle” standard, which in fact is very similar to the Euro V standard. We are unable to provide specific data relating to vehicles in this emissions class, but we believe that they form only a very small proportion of the vehicle fleet.