Cleaner, safer trucks

Trucking poses a major challenge for the environment and road safety. It is one of the sub-sectors of the transport industry with the fastest growing CO2 emissions and fuel use. Every year the EU imports around 500 million barrels (€60bn) of oil to fuel its lorry fleet, which makes the EU economy vulnerable to oil price fluctuations. At the same time 4,000 EU citizens die in truck accidents year after year. To tackle these problems, Europe needs to introduce truck CO2 standards and effective vehicle safety regulations without any delay.

What are we working on?

To address these challenges at EU level, T&E works on making lorries more CO2 and fuel efficient, in particular through CO2 standards and the update of the weights and dimensions legislation to enable cleaner and safer design of lorries. The EU's new system of monitoring and reporting carbon emissions will be a key part of implmementing CO2 standards, and we aim to ensure maximum transparency as well as third-party testing to avoid a Dieselgate in trucking. The work on lorry efficiency is complemented by our work on road charging and fuel taxation. At the same time we reject claims that increasing the load capacity of lorries (megatrucks) contributes to greening road freight in any meaningful way.

Key statistics


EU total road transport emissions (2013) Approx. 20% (one-fifth) of EU’s overall greenhouse gas emissions
EU total lorry emissions Ca. 5% of EU total greenhouse gas emissions
EU transport emissions from lorries 25 % of CO2 emissions from road transport in the EU
Share of total vehicle fleet and vehicle kilometers 3% of vehicles ,7% of total kilometers driven
Lorry CO2 emissions increase since 1990 36% increase between 1990 -2010
Lorry fuel economy improvement since 1990s Minimal. European Commission speaks of ‘stable vehicle fuel consumption’ since the mid-1990s
EU policies to decarbonize lorries The Commission is preparing a proposal to monitor lorry CO2 emissions
Policies to decarbonize lorries in other regions The USA introduced lorry CO2 standards in 2011 and is preparing a second round of more stringent standards to be finalized by March 2016. Japan and China also have lorry CO2 standards.
Air pollution cost of lorries 45 billion euros in increased health costs according to the European Environment agency
European oil imports for lorries 500 million barrels of oil, at a cost of around €60 billion
How much do lorries transport? 75% of all goods carried over land in Europe
Importance of EU lorry makers EU Lorry makers are responsible for ca. 40% of global lorry production
How much congestion do lorries cause? 20% of road congestion costs in the EU are caused by lorries, despite representing just 3% of road vehicles
Road safety impact of lorries With 3% of vehicles, lorries kill ca. 4200 people every year, around 15% of total EU fatalities