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European truckmakers dominate the world market but their competitive advantage is in jeopardy. Unlike the US, China, Canada and Japan, the EU has no CO2 limits for heavy-duty vehicles. If Europe does not act then, thanks to its stringent CO2 standards, US tractor-trailers will be considerably more efficient than EU tractor-trailers by 2027.
Stef Cornelis, safer and cleaner trucks officer at Transport & Environment, said: “This is as much about environmental leadership as about innovation. If European truckmakers want to remain the world’s leader in truck manufacturing, then they should publicly support fuel efficiency standard for trucks in Europe with a more ambitious 2025 target than the American phase II target. Anything less will mean further stagnation for trucks made in Europe.”
Dietmar Oeliger, Head of Transport Policy at NABU, said: “For many years the truck industry above all invested in more horsepower and more comfort. Fuel efficiency and climate protection fell by the wayside. Now it’s about time for ambitious efficiency standards. More efficient trucks are crucial for Europe to live up to the commitments it made in the Paris climate agreement.”
In its Low-emissions Mobility Strategy the Commission promised it would propose truck CO2 standards before 2019. Last week at the European Parliament in Strasbourg a cross-party group of MEPs led by Karima Delli called on the European Commission to table an ambitious proposal to reduce carbon emissions from trucks as soon as possible.
In June 2016 a group of businesses led by IKEA, Nestle, DHL and DB Schenker wrote to the Commission to demand truck CO2 standards.
On average, fuel bills represent 30% of the operating costs of running a fleet. 75% of goods are moved by trucks in Europe. Transport has now become the single biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in Europe. While trucks make up less than 5% of all vehicles on the road, they are responsible for 25% of on-road fuel use and carbon emissions.