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 European Parliament today voted to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new trucks by 30% by 2030, benefiting truckers with almost €60,000 in fuel savings per vehicle over a five-year period . MEPs also agreed to reward truckmakers whose electric, hybrid and hydrogen vehicles make up at least 2% of new truck sales with a less stringent CO2 target. European campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E) says this zero-emission sales incentive will help kick-start the shift away from fossil fuel technology.
MEPs have today passed a law that will literally change the face of trucks in Europe – from brick-shaped cabs to rounder ones. Transport & Environment (T&E), which campaigned for the reform, said the new truck designs will save lives, carbon emissions and fuel. Today’s vote in the European Parliament follows agreement this morning between governments and MEPs on a ‘direct vision’ safety standard that will also enhance truck safety.
MEPs and EU governments have this morning agreed a new life-saving measure that will drastically reduce deadly blind-spots in trucks and buses, enabling their drivers to better see pedestrians and cyclists. Transport & Environment (T&E) said the world’s first ‘direct vision’ standard – under the EU’s revised General Safety Regulation – will help avoid many road collisions by improving the design of new vehicles and not forcing drivers to rely on technology like sensors and cameras to know what’s around them.
The European Parliament’s Internal Market Committee today backed safer ‘direct vision’ trucks and buses , amongst a dozen new life-saving measures for cars, vans, buses and trucks. The new direct vision standard will drastically reduce deadly blindspots, enabling truck and bus drivers to see more of the road around the vehicle, thus preventing accidents with cyclists and pedestrians. The European federation of green NGOs, Transport & Environment, welcomes the vote but stresses the urgency of wrapping up this law before European Parliamentary elections in May. Failing to reach a deal before this Parliament mandate would mean another 18 months wasted to save lives.
Truckmakers will have to cut the carbon emissions of trucks they sell in Europe by almost a third by 2030, following a deal reached in the early hours of this morning by EU lawmakers. Transport & Environment (T&E) said the bloc’s first ever emissions reduction targets for heavy-duty vehicles and a sales benchmark for zero and low-emission trucks – also agreed by lawmakers – would spark climate action and fuel savings. However, the legislation will need to be made more ambitious when it’s reviewed in 2022 to continue to drive down emissions in line with the Paris climate goals.