Go ahead and add environmental activist to the description of service technicians across the Atlantic.
It seems British service professionals — and “van enthusiasts” — have embraced new European Union regulations that, according to Bloomberg’s Jonathan Stearns, slash the legal CO2 output of light commercial vehicles (read: European-style service vans from the likes of Fiat and Peugeot, similar to Ford’s Transit Connect sold in the U.S.) — this according to a U.K.-based commercial van insurance provider. According to the company’s survey of 1,200 van drivers, a startling 87 percent of “want to become greener,” while 67 percent admit they could do more to minimize their vans’ impact on the environment.
While we’ve covered the emergence of more energy efficient vans in the U.S. market, including Nissan’s NV-series and GM’s natural-gas-powered makeovers, it appears British service pros are unique (or at least more vocal) in clamoring for increased efficiency and stricter government controls.
Stearns writes that the new EU regulations, “which extend to foreign producers, will reduce average CO2 emissions from new vans sold in the EU by 14 percent to 175 grams (6.2 ounces) a kilometer (0.6 mile) as of 2017 compared with 2007.”
The regulations will gradually take effect beginning in 2012 and will affect the sizable European van market, which, Stearns notes, makes up about one-ninth of all cars in the EU.
Media star and now environmental advocate — how are van-driving Americans supposed to compete?