Trucking poses a major challenge for the environment and road safety. Around three-quarters of freight in Europe is delivered by lorry, and road freight transport is one of the sub-sectors of the transport industry with the fastest growing CO2 emissions and fuel use. Every year the EU imports around 500 million barrels (€60bn) of oil to fuel its lorry fleet, which makes the EU economy vulnerable to oil price fluctuations.
A fuel tax agreement operates in the US and Canada which is known as the International Fuel Tax Agreement, or IFTA. Under the IFTA, truck operators (hauliers) record distance travelled and fuel consumed within each state/province (jurisdiction). Tax paid where fuel is purchased is later reconciled against actual use. Thanks to this reconciliation process, hauliers obtain a rebate from some jurisdictions and pay additional taxes to others.
This paper sets out why a cross-vehicle, cross-modal strategy to accelerate the electrification of transport – a shift towards sustainable e-mobility – should be an essential part of Europe’s ambition to achieve an energy union. It would also bring the benefits of reduced oil imports and transport CO2 emissions as well as stimulate innovation and jobs.
Ahead of the Communication on the European Energy Union with a forward-looking climate policy, NGOs wrote to the College of the European Commission asking it to pay special attention to the decarbonisation of transport. They ask commissioners to include a comprehensive strategy for electrification of transport as one of their priorities for moving Europe further down the road of climate and energy security and towards reducing its global land foot-print.
Ahead of its discussion on the EU’s key priorities for the next decade, seven stakeholder organisations from industry, transport and cities wrote to the College of the European Commission regarding the creation of a European Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy. They called on the commissioners to focus on the transport sector, which represents about a third of the EU’s overall energy consumption and is almost exclusively dependent on imported fossil fuels.
Ahead of trilogue negotiations on the European Commission's lorry weights and dimensions proposal, the International Road Transport Union (IRU), representing hauliers, and Transport & Environment wrote to the Commission, Council and Parliament. In the letter they urge decision-makers to seize a once-in-a-generation opportunity to support and enable a maximisation of lorry fuel efficiency which will reduce emissions, while creating opportunities to further improve safety and driver comfort. They ask the decision-makers to reject a proposed moratorium and not delay such innovations any further.
This briefing summarises a legal analysis highlighting how the proposals are contrary to the requirements of the current ETS Directive. It also covers new research illustrating why including transport in the ETS would be counterproductive; compared with a scenario of ambitious post-2020 vehicle CO2 standards there would be 160,000 fewer jobs, and €22/77 billion higher oil imports in 2030/2050. Climate policy, as well as transport emissions reductions, would stall.
Transport & Environment contributed to a European Commission expert group considering the appropriate technical requirements if the maximum length of goods vehicles were to be increased to permit safer and more aerodynamic designs. T&E commissioned this report by Apollo Vehicle Safety to assess: the extent to which the Front Underrun Protection Regulation (UNECE R93) constrains the maximum length of cabs; what the implications would be if it needed amendment; and whether alternative regulatory approaches could allow a length increase without amending R93 or compromising safety.
Lorries are involved in 4,200 fatal accidents in Europe every year. Many of the fatalities are vulnerable road users such as cyclists or pedestrians. Poor driver vision and lorry blind spots are a major cause of accidents. Unlike passenger cars, there are no direct vision requirements for lorries and regulators have instead focused on mirrors to reduce blind spots.
The EU is currently discussing its climate and energy policy for 2030. As part of these discussions German carmakers have been advocating the inclusion of road transport emissions in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). Some countries like Denmark also support the idea, although for different reasons. This briefing explains why transport’s inclusion in the ETS would delay emissions reductions in transport, undermine more effective climate policies for transport, and weaken the ETS and increase costs.