truck on road crossing the forest

Member news

Progress on truck CO2 standards achieved but targets must remain realistic

20 Feb 2019 Brussels

The agreement reached by European policy-makers yesterday is welcomed by IRU as a positive step forward towards passing this file into legislation in the coming months.  

Ensuring that increasingly fuel-efficient trucks are brought to the market within the shortest delay is in the interest of transport operators striving to reduce their fuel consumption. IRU is therefore pleased to see that the proposed 2025 target of 15% has been maintained in the European Commission’s proposal for the first European truck CO2 standards. 
However, IRU continues to voice concern over setting a definitive target for 2030. The Council recognised that a different methodology will be required for commercial vehicles based on the use of alternative fuels as the main decarbonisation driver for commercial vehicles and acknowledged that electrification will not be the technology of choice to reach the goal. A 30% reduction will only be feasible if based on a Well-to-Wheel approach and it is essential that the 2030 target of 30% can still be reviewed in 2022. Of equal concern is the agreement for a sales mandate for zero and low-emission vehicles (ZLEVs) of 2%. Sales mandates for ZLEVs could encourage greater investment into smaller vehicles which are easier to electrify. A shift to smaller vehicles would lead to increased congestion and thereby more CO2 emissions.
The aim to reduce trucks’ CO2 emissions must ultimately respect commercial and technological viabilities and must keep in mind that the majority of truck purchasers face very low profit margins. Targets must also be supported by an enabling legislative framework, including sufficient refuelling and recharging infrastructure. 
IRU is pleased to see that the role of low-carbon alternative fuels, including liquid, gaseous synthetic and bio, will be considered in the framework of the 2022 revision along with the role of high-capacity vehicles, the latter which would reduce CO2 emissions per tkm by 17.5%.