The road to a new set of emissions regulations tends to be a long one, winding through committees, public comment periods and court challenges, but as far as a layman can tell, the European Commission has reached the finish line, agreeing on CO2 targets for heavy-duty vehicles that would require phasing out almost all sales of new diesel trucks by 2040.
Under the new regs, manufacturers will have to cut the average emissions of new trucks by 45% in 2030, 65% in 2035 and 90% in 2040. Starting in 2035, the targets will also apply to vocational vehicles such as garbage and construction trucks.
The negotiators resisted pressure from the fossil fuel industry to create a loophole in the targets for e-fuels and biofuels. However, they did make some concessions in other areas. Trailer manufacturers will have to lower the emissions of semi-trailers by 10% in 2030, and buses must reduce emissions by 90% in 2030, and 100% by 2035. Both of these represent weaker targets than those proposed by the Commission.
Transport & Environment (T&E) estimates that the newly-agreed targets will result in around 30% of trucks sold in 2030, and 75% in 2040, being zero-emission vehicles.
“The EU is clearly telling truck-makers when almost all their vehicles will need to be zero-emission,” said Fedor Unterlohner, Freight Manager at T&E. “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.”
Source: Transport & Environment