Clean vehicles in Europe


This report is a compilation of data, mainly from specific reports and interviews. The report gives an overview of the present alternatives to petrol and diesel, i.e. alternative fuels or Clean fuels. The report also gives state of art of the Clean Vehicle situation in some European countries. Clean Vehicles are fuelled by renewable fuels or fossil fuels that are less pollutant than ordinary fuels, or use a technique, which dramatically reduce pollution and energy use.
The most common renewable fuels in Europe are Biodiesel (vegetable oil) and Ethanol. Biodiesel production has increased about 10 times the last 10 years and Europe is now the world’s biggest producer and user of biodiesel, consuming about 1,2 Millions m3 per year. Also Ethanol production has raised, by a factor 5, to about 0,3 Millions m3 per year Compared to the biggest Ethanol users Brasilia (12 Mm3/year) and USA (6,7 Mm3/year), Europe still is rather undeveloped in this aspect. Biogas is a fuel that is just beginning to be used and has a big potential.
Fossil fuels that are regarded as clean are i.a. Natural gas and Propane (LPG). Fuel cell vehicles driven by Hydrogen may be the future clean vehicle but is still not commercially available.
The policies for Clean vehicles and fuels are significantly different in different countries in Europe, which creates a barrier for large-scale use of biofuels. Neither is there a common definition of Clean Vehicles. The European Council has implemented an Alternative fuels Directive which aims to increase the use of renewable fuels in the Member States, with the objective to reach 5,75 % the year 2010. The objective is however not compulsory.
Clean Vehicles and Clean Fuels are still more expensive than ordinary. There are different policies to support the introduction of Clean Vehicles in Europe. The most successful seems to be tax relieves combined with subsidies for production of fuels and local incentives like reduced parking fee and parking lots dedicated exclusively to Clean Vehicles.

Issued by

Clean Vehicles in Stockholm, Stockholm Environment and Health Administration, Box 380 24, SE-100 61 Stockholm, Sweden

Project leader

Jonas Ericson, , Stockholm Environment and Health Administration, tel +46 8-508 28 946,


Charlotte Plombin, Engineering student at the Ecole des Mines d´Albi, France



Target groups

Policymakers at local and national level and others interested in a broad overview of the present status regarding clean vehicles and alternative fuels in Europa.
 Download pdf; Clean Vehicles in Europe, Trendsetter Report 2003:2, 59p.


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Information material

Trendsetter reports

Environmental zones in Europe

Clean vehicles in Europe

Biogas as vehicle fuel

Policy Report

Congestion Charging in Stockholm

Congestion charging, pollution and health

Planned evaluation of Congestion Charging

Administrative reports

Reports by language

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