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  • US regulation for more efficient trucks means Europe’s lawmakers need to speed up

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today published the second phase of greenhouse gas standards for the trucking sector, which will enable America to have the cleanest and most fuel-efficient trucks in the world. Europe’s sustainable transport group, Transport & Environment (T&E), welcomed the standard and urged European regulators to, having already sent the right signal, now step up their game and propose EU fuel efficiency targets for trucks now.

    Stef Cornelis, cleaner and safer trucks officer at T&E, said: “Having already proven that standards are an effective tool for tackling trucks’ emissions, the US is again showing leadership and vision on the ever-growing climate problem of shipping goods by lorries. This is a wake-up call to European lawmakers who have said they will regulate truck CO2 and now need to take action. Either EU regulators step up their game or we will see American trucks overtake European ones.”

    If the EU does not act, US tractor-trailers will be considerably more efficient than EU tractor-trailers by 2027. Fuel savings due to the new standards exceed upfront costs, enabling truck buyers of more efficient tractor trailers to recoup the upfront cost within two years. On average, fuel bills represent one-third of the operating costs of running a fleet.

    According to the EPA, Phase 2 of the US fuel efficiency standard for trucks will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the vehicles affected by 1 billion metric tons of over their lifetimes. The ICCT estimates the benefits will be over 500,000 barrels of oil savings per day in 2035 and, once the standards will be fully implemented, these fuel savings will increase to over 800,000 barrels per day in 2050. There will be a net $200 billion in savings to US fleets and society as a whole.

    Stef Cornelis concluded: “This is as much about environmental leadership as about innovation. If the EU wants to remain the world’s leader in truck manufacturing, then the European Commission should table a fuel efficiency standard for trucks in 2017 with a more ambitious 2025 target than the American phase II target. Anything less will mean further stagnation for trucks made in Europe.”