Cleaner, safer trucks

Trucks have a major impact on global warming, the air we breathe, and the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.

Trucks have a major impact on global warming. While only accounting for 2% of the vehicles on the road in the European Union, they are responsible for 22% of road transport CO2 emissions and 15% of road collision fatalities, which is 4,000 EU citizens a year. What’s more, road freight transport is projected to increase by 56% between 2010 and 2050. This means Europe needs to tackle truck emissions urgently to decarbonise transport.

The good news is that the EU is acting and that technology is developing rapidly too. Europe’s first truck CO2 standards were agreed in 2019. In another first, Europe also agreed a ‘direct vision’ standard for trucks in 2019, along with design changes to enable truck-makers build safer and more aerodynamic cabs. But much remains to be done.

From more fuel efficiency to zero emissions trucks

T&E works on making trucks more fuel efficient and reducing their CO2 emissions while at the same time starting the shift away from fossil fuel trucks to zero-emission vehicles. With battery technologies improving, cities cleaning up their air, and looking at the recent announcements from different European truckmakers, electric trucks will enter our markets fast in the coming years. Industry players and companies also support our call for more fuel-efficient and zero-emission trucks. But we now need the supply and infrastructure to make this shift away from diesel and gas happen. 

We are particularly focused on CO2 standards for trucks and the EU’s upcoming revision of these targets in 2022. Truck CO2 standards agreed in 2019 require new trucks to be 15% more fuel efficient by 2025. For 2030 the emission reduction target is 30%. This will reduce the CO2 emissions coming from trucks while at the same time helping drivers and companies to save money and fuel. From 2025 truckmakers that sell more than 2% zero and low-emission trucks will gain a bonus. In the revision in 2022, ambition needs to be increased to really kickstart the market for low and zero-emission trucks. 

The reform of the weights and dimensions legislation in 2019 means that truckmakers can put cleaner and safer truck cabs on the road from September 2020. 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.

Image courtesy of PEM Motion Gmbh