Despite all the fanfare about electric trucks at the world’s largest truck fair (IAA) on Wednesday 19 September, the German and European truck lobby groups are urging lawmakers to weaken emission reduction targets so they can keep selling even dirtier diesel lorries for another decade and as few electric trucks as possible. Transport & Environment’s (T&E) analysis shows that new trucks in 2025 could be even less fuel efficient than those in 2019, if lawmakers follow the wishes of the German VDA and Europe’s ACEA.
The European Commission today proposed the EU’s first-ever fuel economy standards for new trucks. The 2025 target of 15% will save truck owners €5,000 in reduced fuel bills every year, strengthen European truckmakers’ competitiveness and cut millions of tonnes of climate-changing emissions. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) welcomes the proposal but cautions that the Commission’s plan falls short of the ambition demanded by hauliers and businesses and what’s needed to hit the EU’s own climate goals.
The EU should fill its post-Brexit budget gap with new revenues from taxing transport, which is Europe’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, former Italian prime minister Enrico Letta, ex-WTO head Pascal Lamy, former finance minister of Germany Hans Eichel and 14 other economists have told EU leaders. In advocating a green tax shift, they called for a higher minimum tax on road diesel, VAT on airline tickets for the first time and taxing aviation kerosene which is currently exempt. Sustainable transport group Transport & Environment welcomed the letter, citing its own analysis that such a green tax shift would generate additional revenues of more than €50 billion a year which would allow for the income tax burden to be reduced.
The costs of emissions-free, electric vans are now as low as their diesel competitors. That’s according to a new study by consultancy CE Delft that focuses on the small van segment largely used in cities and which accounts for 40% of total van sales in the EU. The study takes into account purchase price, taxes, fuel bills and maintenance costs over six years, equivalent to a standard lease contract. The rapid fall in battery prices – they dropped by 24% in 2017 alone – is the main factor in making electric vans reach cost parity.
Some delivery trucks have blind spots up to 1.9 metres even though the best in their class have virtually none and could save hundreds of pedestrian and cyclists’ lives , according to the latest study by the Loughborough Design School. It finds huge differences in the direct vision – what drivers can see with their own eyes – of best and worst-in-class trucks in all categories, and that ‘low-entry cabs’ like the Mercedes Econic out perform all of today’s best performing vehicles.
MEPs have sent a signal to EU governments that the bloc’s first ever truck CO2 standards need to be more ambitious than those proposed by the European Commission. The European Parliament’s environment committee today voted for a 20% reduction in truck CO2 emissions in 2025, and 35% in 2030. Transport & Environment (T&E) said the increased ambition in emissions reduction targets and a zero-emission truck sales target with teeth are a very positive decision that will cut climate emissions, make air in cities cleaner and slash fuel bills for businesses.
The European trucking sector is at a crossroads and must make a choice between emissions climbing 10% over the next decade or taking a pathway towards lower CO2 emissions, stronger economic growth for Europe and better energy security. A pathway towards zero carbon road freight would cut oil imports by 1bn barrels of oil equivalent by 2030, would strengthen GDP and would create around 120,000 net additional jobs across the economy.
Today’s vote by MEPs to introduce distance-based road tolls for trucks will mean vehicles will pay for the CO2 emissions they emit, incentivising cleaner trucking, green NGO Transport & Environment has said. By 2026 drivers would no longer be able to pay by duration – per day, week, month, etc – to drive unlimited distances, and would instead pay per km, according to the European Parliament transport committee’s revision of the Eurovignette Directive.
In einer bislang beispiellosen Initiative haben 35 führende Handelsunternehmen, Logistiker und Spediteure die Europäische Kommission unter Jean-Claude Juncker dazu aufgerufen, die CO2-Emissionen neuer Lkw um fast ein Viertel zu reduzieren. Juncker sei nun gefragt, sein Versprechen  einlösen, um Europas Vorreiterrolle beim Kampf gegen den Klimawandel zu sichern. Mit einer verbindlich festgeschriebenen Reduzierung der CO2-Emissionen um 24 % bis 2025 würde der für Mai geplante Kommissionsvorschlag für CO2-Grenzwerte für Lkw gleich einen doppelten Effekt haben: Er würde die Branche dabei unterstützen, ihre Klimaziele zu erreichen, und den Unternehmen gleichzeitig Einsparungen von 7.700 € pro Jahr und Fahrzeug ermöglichen. Dies geht aus einem Brief hervor, den neben DB Schenker, Hermes Germany, IKEA, Tchibo auch mittelständische Spediteure und Verbände des Transportgewerbes unterschrieben haben.
Jean-Claude Juncker’s European Commission should set a target of reducing truck emissions by almost a quarter if he wants to deliver on his pledge  of Europe remaining the leader in the fight against climate change, 36 major global brands, transport companies and hauliers associations have told the EU leader. A mandated 24% cut in CO2 by 2025 in the Commission’s truck CO2 proposal next month would help the sector meet its climate goals and save businesses €7,700 per year, per truck, according to a letter signed by Carrefour, IKEA, Unilever, Heineken, Nestlé, Geodis, national transport associations and other big players in an unprecedented joint call by companies and truckers.