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European truckmakers dominate the world market but, unlike the US, China and Japan, the EU has no CO2 limits for heavy-duty vehicles. Truck fuel economy can be improved by increasing engine efficiency, improving tires and aerodynamics, and hybridisation. The ICCT study shows fuel economy could be 27% better by 2025 and up to 40% better by 2030.
Rachel Muncrief, truck efficiency manager at ICCT, said: “Thanks to the new US fuel economy standards, American tractor trailers will overtake European tractor trailers as the most fuel efficient in the world in 2020. The EU should introduce truck CO2 standards and it should hurry up. Setting a 2020 standard would deliver three times higher carbon savings to the EU’s 2030 goals than a 2025 standard.”
Meeting the EU’s 2030 climate targets – as well as the more challenging targets of the Paris climate deal – will require major efforts in the road freight sector. For instance, Germany, Europe’s biggest truck market, can achieve almost one-fifth (19%) of transport’s contribution to meeting its 2030 climate obligations with the adoption of CO2 standards for trucks only. Car, van and truck standards combined could deliver up to 86% of Germany’s 2030 carbon budget for road transport.
William Todts, freight director at Transport & Environment, said: “CO2 standards for trucks make shipping goods cheaper while cutting emissions and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. That’s why member states, MEPs and business have all called on the EU to introduce truck fuel economy standards. The time has come for the Commission to make a move. There are no more excuses for inaction.”
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. 
Note to editors:
 T&E analysis based on EEA figures: Too big to ignore – truck CO2 emissions in 2030