Your Heavy Duty

Your Heavy Duty is a campaign by Transport & Environment to advocate for higher CO2 reduction targets for European truckmakers to encourage investments, scale up supply and deliver on zero-emission trucks (ZETs). Stronger regulation will send the necessary signal and create investment certainty for Europe's industry.

The challenge

Heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) are responsible for 27% of climate emissions from road transport in Europe, while only accounting for 2% of the vehicles on the road. Trucks and buses have a bigger climate impact than all flights within the EU and would be the 6th largest emitter if they were an EU country. Equipped with diesel engines, they increase global warming and pollute the air, causing serious diseases and premature deaths. 

If no action is taken, these emissions will continue to grow. The European Commission expects truck activity in the EU to further increase by 40% between 2019 and 2050, while activity from buses and coaches would grow by 10% over the same period.

To address this, the European Union is proposing targets for truck and busmakers to cut CO2 emissions from new sales by 45% by 2030 and 90% by 2040. They can do this by increasing the share of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) sold, including battery electric (BEVs), fuel cell electric (FCEVs) and hydrogen combustion vehicles. 

A climate reduction target of -90% might seem close to full decarbonisation at first sight. But due to a number of shortcomings, the proposal would only reduce emissions from HDVs by 56% by 2050. This falls far short of the EU’s climate ambitions and seriously undermines Europe’s chance to retain its industrial leadership of the sector.

An invisible killer on the streets of Europe

Air pollution from trucks is severely hurting European citizens’ health and draining taxpayers’ money. Heavy-duty vehicles are responsible for half of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and one third of fine particulate matter (PM) emmitted from road transport. In addition, air pollution cost EU countries over 18 billion euros in 2021 alone.

Following T&E’s recommendations on the upcoming truck emission standards could save as much NOx pollution as getting 12.7 million polluting cars off the road in 2030. Also, T&E’s CO2 targets will save over triple the amount the EU’s current proposals suggest – that means 1.8 billion euros that can be invested in other areas.

Check the video below to learn more about how zero-emission trucks can slash air pollution and save EU taxpayers’ money.

Winning the race

The European Union must cut CO2 emissions of new trucks by 65% by 2030 and 100% by 2035. That’s what it will take for Europe’s truckmakers to win the global competition to reach zero emissions. It’s also necessary for the EU to get the last polluting trucks off its roads by 2050. Trucks are driven for 20 years on average.

This is the YOUR HEAVY DUTY campaign. We want to raise awareness of the major role trucks play in decarbonising our road transport sector. The aim is to show the European Parliament and EU countries why they should vote for higher CO2 standards for truckmakers. Everyone will benefit. Hauliers and freight buyers can accelerate the transition by shifting to zero-emission trucks in their fleets. Drivers and workers will benefit from safer and healthier equipment to work with. Citizens will breathe cleaner air. 

Let’s raise our voices and fight together for a better world

Join citizens across Europe in demanding responsible action towards reducing transport emissions by sharing our promotional materials and tagging your EU representatives

Download campaign flyer

It’s Your Heavy Duty!

Want to know more?

Check out our videos covering the key challenges of the transition

Relevant publications