Mixed reactions on EU27 confirming truck CO2 targets

The proposal of the EU to cut CO2 emissions of heavy trucks and buses by 90% from now until 2040 is getting a mixed response from the industry and environmentalists. European car manufacturers federation ACEA wants supporting targets for the infrastructure and transport companies, while Transport & Environment (T&E) feels the short-term targets are too lenient.

To recall: back in February, the European Commission set targets to phase out the sale of polluting trucks and long-distance buses. By 2030, a CO2 reduction of 45% (compared to 2019) has to be achieved, followed by 65% by 2035 and 90% by 2040. This would mean that every vehicle sold in the EU would be zero-emission by 2050. Some companies even asked for a complete ban from 2035.

One step closer to regulations

The European Council, with 27 member states, has backed the Commission’s proposal while shutting down any loopholes for e-fuels and biofuels, deeming them unsustainable. This leaves just a vote from the European Parliament’s environment committee to implement this proposal, scheduled for 24 October.

Meanwhile, more responses are coming from the manufacturers’ association ACEA and the green non-profit Transport & Environment. The former, which represents significant truck manufacturers DAF, Daimler Truck, Iveco, Volvo Trucks, and MAN/Scania (VW Group), accepts the targets but deems them too ambitious without the proper support from the infrastructure and transport companies.

The MCS charging connector will allow for DC fast charging up to 3,75 MW, a more than 10x increase over the current CCS system /Scania

‘Infrastructure and transport companies also need targets’

“Highly ambitious CO2 targets for truck and bus makers cannot be achieved by manufacturers alone,” stated Sigrid de Vries, ACEA Director General. “Lawmakers must do more to closely align the ambition levels set for vehicle manufacturers with those for other stakeholders, from infrastructure providers/operators to road transport operators, haulers and shippers, and public transport operators.”

The ACEA has calculated that if a CO2 reduction of 45% is to be achieved by 2030, more than 400 000 zero-emission trucks will have to be on the road, while 50 000 publicly accessible chargers (of which 35 000 Megawatt Charging Systems (MCS)) and 700 hydrogen refilling stations are needed to recharge and refuel all these e-trucks.

‘2030 target too lenient in light of global competition’

Meanwhile, Transport & Environment feels that the target of 45% by 2030 is not strict enough. “We now call on MEPs to increase the 2030 standard. Truckmakers need a clear signal to go all in on zero-emission trucks and compete with Tesla and Chinese rivals,” says Fedor Unterlohner, freight manager at T&E.

T&E also criticized the European Council’s decision to exempt specific types of heavy-duty trucks, such as garbage and construction trucks, from these targets.


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