EU policy-makers agree on strict CO2-reduction targets for new HGVs by 2030

EU law-makers today reached a provisional agreement that will see truck makers forced to slash CO2 emissions of new trucks by nearly a third by 2030.

Agreed targets require a CO2 reduction from new lorries of 15% by 2025 and 30% by 2030, with a review set for 2022 to ensure the latter target takes into account latest technology.

It will be the first time a European standard for truck CO2 emissions has been agreed.

The new emissions rules form part of the EU’s clean mobility strategy, which supports the wider aim of reducing European greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 from 1990 levels.

EC commissioner for climate action and energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “The new targets and incentives will help tackle emissions, as well as bring fuel savings to transport operators and cleaner air for all Europeans.

“For the EU industry, this is an opportunity to embrace innovation towards zero-emission mobility and further strengthen its global leadership in clean vehicles.”

Carbon emissions calculating software  called VECTO will be used to assess trucks’ performance. This will enable operators to easily compare the fuel efficiency and carbon emissions of each truck brand when buying new vehicles.

VECTO’s calculations will take into account five different drive cycles, such as long-haul and urban routes, as well as three different standard trailer types and load scenarios.

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The European Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association(ACEA) has called the CO2 reduction targets “highly ambitious” and flagged up the need for faster rollout of refuelling infrastructure for alternative fuels.

ACEA secretary general Erik Jonnaert, said: “These 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.

“We can now only call upon member states to urgently step up their efforts to roll-out the infrastructure required for charging and refuelling the alternatively-powered trucks which will need to be sold en masse if these targets are to be met.”

It added there is a “total lack of such infrastructure” today, with no public access sites suitable for refuelling long-distance lorries by hydrogen or electricity, while CNG and LNG availability remains “very low and patchy” across Europe.

However, Stef Cornelis, cleaner trucks officer at Transport & Environment, said: “The new truck CO2 standards are excellent news for truckers and the environment. After 20 years of very little progress on fuel efficiency, truckmakers now need to start offering affordable, low-carbon trucks, enabling huge fuel savings for Europe’s haulage industry.

“But this is just a start and the standards will need to be made a lot more ambitious when they are reviewed in 2022.”

Following today’s provisional emissions agreement, the text of the regulation will have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council. Once endorsed by both co-legislators in the coming months, it will be published in the Official Journal of the Union and immediately take effect.

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