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Truck makers have criticised new pollutant emission standards for HGVs proposed by the European Commission (EC) and said they risk slowing down the transition to zero-emission transport.

The Euro-7 standards are currently due to be implemented in 2027 for heavy goods vehicles, but the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) said there were limited benefits and it would heavily increase the cost of vehicles.

Oliver Zipse, ACEA president, said the EC’s proposals was “particularly harsh” for HGVs and that it neglected the industry’s accelerating shift towards zero-emission vehicles: “The auto industry takes its role to reduce both CO2 and pollutant emissions very seriously,” he said.

“Indeed, last year we made a very constructive proposal for a new Euro-7 which would bring a major reduction in criteria pollutants, thus improving air quality.

“Unfortunately, the environmental benefit of the Commission’s proposal is very limited.”

Martin Lundstedt, Volvo Group chief executive, was also scathing about the EC proposals: “To comply with Euro-7, truck makers will have to move substantial engineering and financial resources from battery and fuel-cell electric vehicles back to the internal combustion engine,” he said.

“This will severely impact our transition to zero-emission vehicles. It is not good for the climate, not good for people’s health and not good for the industry.

“Policy makers should focus on measures that accelerate fleet renewal, prioritising investments in zero-emission vehicles, which will have a far bigger impact on both air quality and reduced CO2 emissions,” he added.

The ACEA has also criticised the 2027 date, describing it as unrealistic, given the number of vehicle models and variants needed to be developed, engineered, tested and type approved.