The European Parliament and the Council have reached provisional agreement on a regulation that will set strict CO2 emission standards for trucks in the EU. Emissions from new trucks will have to be 15% lower by 2025 and 30% lower in 2030, compared to 2019 emissions. The text of the regulation still needs to be formally approved by both bodies before it will come into force.
“With the first-ever EU emission standards for trucks agreed, we are completing the legal framework to reach the European target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030,” said Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete. “The new targets and incentives will help tackle emissions, as well as bring fuel savings to transport operators and cleaner air for all Europeans.”
Trucks in Europe make up less than 5% of vehicles on the road, but account for 22% of vehicle emissions. Large trucking customers, including IKEA, Unilever, Carrefour and Nestlé, have been backing the CO2 targets, which are expected to bring them fuel savings and green cred.
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), which represents Europe’s 15 most important car, van, truck and bus producers, struck a skeptical note, saying that the reduction targets are “highly demanding, especially as their implementation does not depend solely on the commercial vehicle industry, and the baseline for the targets is still unknown.”
ACEA has pointed out that reaching such ambitious CO2 standards will only be possible with massive adoption of zero- and low-emission trucks, and that there is currently no public charging or refueling infrastructure for electric or hydrogen trucks whatsoever.
“We can now only call upon member states to urgently step up their efforts to roll out the infrastructure required for charging and refueling the alternatively-powered trucks which will need to be sold en masse if these targets are to be met,” said ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert.
“The introduction of a benchmark system for truck manufacturers totally ignores the demand side,” Jonnaert continued. “We cannot expect transport operators to suddenly start buying electric or other alternatively-powered trucks if there is no business case for them and it is not possible to easily charge the vehicles along all major EU motorways. Policy makers must act to ensure that the zero-emission trucks that manufacturers will be mandated to produce can actually be bought and operated by our customers.”