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.
The introduction date for more aerodynamic, safer truck cabs on Europe’s roads will be brought forward to 1 September 2020, EU lawmakers agreed yesterday. The European federation of transport NGOs, Transport & Environment (T&E), welcomed the reform which will speed the roll-out of more rounded truck fronts that allow drivers to better see pedestrians and cyclists and improve fuel efficiency.
The EU should set an ambitious sales benchmark for zero-emission trucks that truckmakers must meet in 2025, six major global brands and transport companies have told lawmakers negotiating Europe's first truck CO2 law. In a letter seen by Transport & Environment, Nestlé, along with retailers Carrefour and Spar Austria, and transport companies Alstom, Geodis and DB Schenker, said a yearly sales benchmark is vital if the transport sector is to reduce its emissions and fuel costs.
MEPs have told EU governments that the bloc’s first ever truck CO2 standards need to be more ambitious than those proposed by the European Commission. The full European Parliament voted for a 20% reduction in truck CO2 emissions in 2025, and at least 35% in 2030. Transport & Environment (T&E) said the increased ambition in emissions reduction targets, together with a zero-emission truck sales target that can be enforced, are very positive steps which, once matched by Council, will cut climate emissions, make air in cities cleaner and slash fuel bills for businesses. However, the mandated reductions will not do enough in the truck sector to meet the goals of the Paris agreement.
Fully electric buses only account for 9% of urban bus sales in Europe – despite being cost competitive with diesel buses when the costs of air pollution and noise are taken into account. That’s according to a new analysis of urban buses by T&E focusing on orders received by bus-makers and the total cost of ownership of different bus types.
The European Parliament today backed a 50% discount on road charges for zero-emission trucks, incentivising cleaner trucking as part of an overhaul of road tolls in Europe. Green NGO Transport & Environment welcomed the reforms of the Eurovignette Directive which would see electric and hydrogen-powered trucks pay half what the best-in-class diesel trucks would pay in distance-based road charges. The vote comes weeks after Germany exempted fossil gas-powered trucks from its Maut toll despite gas trucks emitting as much greenhouse gas and similar air pollutants emissions as diesel ones.