California’s decision to end the sale of new diesel rigs from 2036 threatens to leave Europe’s truck industry behind, green group Transport & Environment (T&E) has said. On Friday, America’s most populous state announced the deadline by when only zero-emissions trucks should be sold. Its vehicle regulations are typically adopted by other states which make up 35% of the US market. T&E said European truckmakers’ global dominance will be threatened unless the EU sets similarly ambitious CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles.
Fedor Unterlohner, freight manager at T&E, said: “This is the most ambitious truck pollution law anywhere in the world. It will directly challenge the EU’s industrial leadership. European truckmakers are in a global competition to lead on zero-emissions vehicles, but weak EU standards could leave them in the rear-view mirror. The EU needs a 100% target in 2035 and more ambition in 2030 if its truck industry is to stay in the race.”
Heavy-duty vehicles play an outsized role in transport CO2 emissions and would be the world’s fourth largest emitter if they were a country. In Europe, the EU Parliament and governments are debating a proposed 45% CO2 reduction target for new trucks in 2030, and a -90% target in 2040. T&E said the 2030 proposal lags behind truck manufacturers’ own plans and should be increased to -65%. The EU’s draft 2040 standard would virtually ensure that diesel freight trucks are still on the road in 2050 – when the EU aims to be climate neutral.