Provisional CO2 targets for heavy-duty vehicles that will phase out almost all sales of new diesel trucks by 2040 have been agreed by the EU. Manufacturers will have to cut the average emissions of new trucks and by 45% in 2030, 65% in 2035 and 90% in 2040.
Meanwhile, trailer manufacturers will also need to improve their emissions performance by 10% in 2030 – a weaker target than proposed by the European Commission. The CO2 target for buses was also reduced to 90% in 2030, reaching 100% by 2035.
Lobby group Transport and Environment (T&E) estimates the EU targets will result in around 30% of trucks sold in 2030 and at least three-quarters in 2040, being zero emission, either electric or hydrogen.
After cars, heavy-duty vehicles are the second biggest transport polluter in Europe.
The European Commission first published its proposals to decarbonise trucks in February, last year.
Dutch MEP and Green Party leader in the European parliament, Bas Eickhout, said:
The transition towards zero-emission trucks and buses is not only key to meeting our climate targets, but also a crucial driver for cleaner air in our cities.
We are providing clarity for one of the major manufacturing industries in Europe and a strong incentive to invest in electrification and hydrogen.
The European Commission will review the effectiveness and impact of the new targets by 2027. This, it says, will help it assess the expansion of the scope to small lorries, the role of a methodology for registering heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) exclusively running on CO2 neutral fuels and the role of a carbon correction factor in the transition towards zero-emission HDVs.
Fedor Unterlohner, freight manager at T&E, said:
The EU is clearly telling truck makers when almost all their vehicles will need to be zero emissions.
European producers now have a clear trajectory to ramp up production of electric and hydrogen rigs and be ready for the challenge of Tesla and Chinese rivals.
No stakeholder got everything they wanted, but the truth is this is a very balanced deal and positive news. One of Europe’s biggest polluters has a path to go green. Long-term investment certainty has been given to manufacturers and the freight industry. Now let’s start implementing.