Lawmakers join call for EU to propose fuel efficiency standards for trucks now

A cross-party group of MEPs has called on the European Commission to table an ambitious proposal to reduce carbon emissions from trucks as soon as possible. 

Unlike cars and vans, there are no trucks CO2 standards in Europe. The lack of regulatory pressure is one of the reasons the fuel efficiency of trucks in Europe has remained mostly stagnant for the past 20 years. In contrast, EU regulations have been effective in driving down pollutant emissions from trucks – not just on paper but in the real world too. In July the Commission announced it would propose truck CO2 standards during this mandate. Last week climate commissioner Canete said at a conference that he intended to see the truck standards proposal finalised and adopted before he left office.

To illustrate the lack of fuel efficiency and CO2 progress in trucks, T&E exhibited two MAN trucks – one from 1995, the other from 2014 – next to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The Inconvenientruck exhibition shows that while trucks have become more powerful, better performing and cleaner, their CO2 performance has stalled.

Over 20 MEPs visited the stand and made statements about the need to finally address truck CO2. Seb Dance’s call to reduce truck CO2 emissions is supported by a cross-party group of MEPs, among them Karima Delli, Greens; Anneleen van Bossuyt, European Conservatives and Reformists; Deirdre Clune, European People’s Party; and José Inácio Faria.


Faria said: ‘Here at the Parliament – because we are called legislators – we have to pressure the Commission to table a proposal so that trucks are also covered.’

Now that the Commission has decided there will be standards, a discussion is raging on what type of standards Europe should introduce. Truckmakers have already come out strongly against engine efficiency standards but the Commission doesn’t want to discard that option just yet. Another question relates to buses. In its July Low-emissions mobility strategy, the Commission raised the possibility of a mandate for electric buses.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, President Obama has formally adopted the phase II standard for 2027. The US phase II regulation is the most ambitious and all-encompassing truck fuel efficiency regulation across the world and puts US trucks on track to become considerably more efficient than EU trucks.

MEP Seb Dance said: ‘There is a clear imperative to have better standards for trucks. The direction of travel in the US is clear and I think we should be doing the same things here. There is plenty of technology available to achieve this.’