Cleaner, safer trucks

Trucks have a major impact on global warming. While only accounting for 5% of the vehicles on the road in the European Union, they are responsible for 22% of road transport CO2 emissions and this is only expected to grow. Road freight transport is projected to increase by 56% between 2010 and 2050. 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, mandatory sales targets for zero emission trucks and effective vehicle safety regulations without any delay.

What are we working on?

CO2 emissions of trucks are not regulated in the EU while we already have fuel efficiency standards in the US, China, Japan, Canada and India. To address these challenges at EU level, T&E works on making trucks more fuel efficient and reducing their CO2 emissions while at the same time starting to shift away from diesel and LNG trucks to zero emission solutions. Announcements from different European truckmakers show that electric trucks will enter our markets fast over the coming years. A key file of ours is the European Commission’s post 2020 truck CO2 standards.

We particularly focus on CO2 standards and the update of the weights and dimensions legislation to enable cleaner and safer design of lorries. The work on truck 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 lower emissions in road freight in any meaningful way.

Key statistics - Trucks, buses and coaches


EU total road transport emissions

Heavy duty vehicles (trucks, buses and coaches) are responsible for 27% of road transport emissions

EU total emissions

Ca. 6% of EU total greenhouse gas emissions

Increase of emissions since 1990

HDV emissions have increased by 25% from 1990


Projected increase

Without action, emissions are projected to increase by 9% between 2010 - 2030

Lorry fuel economy improvement since 1990s

Over the last 15 years, fuel economy of average trucks has not improved

Potential to make trucks more fuel efficient

Compared to 2015, diesel trucks can become 43% more fuel efficient by 2030 by applying a wide range of vehicle technologies

EU policies to decarbonize trucks

In May 2018 the European Commission has made a proposal for the first ever European fuel efficiency standards for trucks

Air pollution cost of trucks

45 billion euros in increased health costs according to the European Environment Agency

European oil imports for trucks

500 million barrels of oil, at a cost of around €60 billion

The real cost of trucks

Only 30% of the societal costs of HGVs (pollution, noise, infrastructure) are covered by revenues from taxes and charges

Natural gas trucks

Trucks powered by LNG do not have appreciable climate benefits.

Road freight can be decarbonised

T&E study shows how to decarbonise heavy duty vehicles by 2050, necessary for the EU’s Paris Agreement commitments

Electric trucks are not science fiction

Battery electric trucks are better for the environment and are technically and economically viable

How much do trucks transport?

75% of all goods carried over land in Europe, 1 831 billion tonne-km in 2016

Importance of EU truck makers

EU truck makers are responsible for ca. 40% of global truck production

How much congestion do trucks cause?

20% of road congestion costs in the EU are caused by trucks, despite representing just 3% of road vehicles

Road safety impact of trucks

With 3% of vehicles, trucks kill ca. 4200 people every year, around 15% of total EU fatalities