CO2 regulation is ‘pivotal moment’ for road haulage in Europe

Europe’s first greenhouse gas emissions limits for heavy vehicles are set to come into force after MEPs and EU governments completed the legislative process for a new regulation. The regulation will cut CO2 emissions from trucks by 30% by 2030, saving hauliers an estimated €60,000 per truck in the first five years through lower fuel consumption. T&E said the legislation ‘kick-starts road haulage’s shift away from fossil-fuel technology’.

Unlike with cars and vans, the EU has until now had no limits on truck CO2 emissions, despite the US, China, Japan and Canada having them. In 2017 the European Commission proposed new measuring and reporting requirements on CO2 emissions and fuel consumption for new lorries which came into force on 1 January 2019, helping to pave the way for Europe’s first truck CO2 emissions limits.

Under the CO2 legislation, all new trucks must have 15% lower CO2 emissions by 2025 compared with 2019, and by 2030 emissions must be at least 30% lower, although this target is subject to review in 2022. Truckmakers whose electric, hybrid and hydrogen vehicles make up at least 2% of new sales will have a less stringent CO2 target.

T&E’s cleaner trucks manager Stef Cornelis said: ‘This is an important step in the right direction, though we need to be clear the new targets are far from enough to meet the Paris climate goals, and they will need to be made a lot more ambitious when they are reviewed in 2022. Nonetheless, this is a pivotal moment for the truck industry in Europe – after 20 years of very little progress on fuel-efficiency, and record fines for cartel activity to fix prices and slow down emissions reductions, we finally have legislation that kick-starts road haulage’s shift away from fossil-fuel technology.’

Trucks, buses and coaches represent around 5% of all vehicles on the road in Europe but are responsible for around a quarter of road transport’s greenhouse gas emissions (6% of the EU’s total CO2 emissions), a share the Commission said would grow rapidly without obligatory limits.