EU to strengthen CO2 emissions rules for heavy-duty vehicles

The European Parliament and Council have reached a provisional agreement on new measures to strengthen CO2 emission reduction targets for new heavy-duty vehicles.

Negotiators agreed on CO2 emissions reduction targets of 45% for the period 2030-2034, 65% for 2035-2039 and 90% as of 2040, applying for large trucks (including vocational vehicles, such as garbage trucks, tippers or concrete mixers as of 2035), and buses.

The agreed targets for new urban buses include an emission reduction of 90% by 2030 and being zero-emissions by 2035. Emissions reduction targets are also set for trailers (7.5%) and semi-trailers (10%), which starts from 2030.

A detailed review on the effectiveness and impact of the regulations will be undertaken by the European Commission by 2027. It will include and assess the expansion of the scope to small lories, the role of a methodology for registering heavy-duty vehicles running on CO2 neutral fuels, and how it conforms to EU law and the transition to zero emission vehicles.

Rapporteur Bas Eickhout (Greens/EFA, NL) said: “The transition towards zero-emission trucks and buses is not only key to meeting our climate targets, but also a crucial driver for cleaner air in our cities.

“We are providing clarity for one of the major manufacturing industries in Europe and a strong incentive to invest in electrification and hydrogen. We are building on the Commission’s proposal by expanding the scope to vocational vehicles and adapting several targets and flexibilities to catch up with reality, as the transition is moving faster than expected.”

Director of Transport at the Climate Group, Sandra Roling, said about the decision: “We welcome the announcement from the Council today. It is especially welcome to see that calls to include loopholes for e-fuels – which in effect would prolong the life of the combustion engine and divert funds from zero emission technologies – were resisted.

“This new regulation will stimulate the market for truly zero emission solutions like electric trucks, and make it easier for companies like those in our EV100+ initiative to procure zero emission trucks for their fleets.”

The European Parliament and Council now need to formally approve the agreement before it can be adopted.

Image from Shutterstock

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