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.
A group of 18 major European cities have written to Commission President Juncker urging him to prioritise road safety by mandating a direct vision standard for trucks as soon as possible. Cities such as London, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels and Copenhagen are re-designing existing roads and cutting vehicle speeds but say they cannot be successful "if we do not also improve in parallel the safety of the cars, vans and trucks".
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 Environment Committee of the European Parliament will vote next week on noise limits for vehicles. The compromise proposal put forward by the lead MEP has been drafted by sports car manufacturer Porsche.
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.
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.
Using natural gas for transport is as bad for the climate as using petrol, diesel or conventional marine fuels, a new report finds. Burning gas in cars also emits as much air pollution as petrol and the limited advantage over compliant diesel cars could be eliminated by planned new standards, the research shows. NGO Transport & Environment (T&E), which published the report, said lawmakers must accept that fossil gas cannot help clean up transport and should start taxing it at the same rate as diesel and petrol.
Secondo un nuovo rapporto, l'uso del gas fossile nei trasporti è dannoso per il clima quanto quello di benzina, del gasolio o dei carburanti navali convenzionali. La ricerca dimostra anche che bruciare gas nelle auto produce un inquinamento atmosferico uguale a quelle alimentate a benzina, mentre il limitato vantaggio rispetto alle auto diesel si elimina con le nuove norme previste. L’ONG Transport & Environment (T&E), autrice del rapporto, ha dichiarato che i legislatori devono accettare la realtà che il gas fossile non può contribuire a rendere puliti i trasporti e dovrebbe iniziare a tassarlo con aliquote analoghe a quelle applicate al gasolio e alla benzina.