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European Parliament votes to strengthen CO2 targets for trucks

Wed 14 November 2018 | Back to news list

The EU Parliament has voted for the introduction of stronger, binding CO2 limits for trucks than had been proposed by the European Commission. Despite CO2 monitoring and baseline-only commencing in January ‘19, Parliamentarians have voted for a 20 percent truck CO2 reduction by 2025 and 35 percent by 2030, together with significant targets for volumes of ultra-low and zero emission trucks.
 
Europa reports that leading industry players -  such as Siemens, DB Schenker, Ikea, Carrefour, Nestlé, Alstom and Unilever - had been calling on the Commission to introduce a 24 percent reduction by 2025 and much more by 2030. Despite this, the Commission only proposed 15 percent reductions by 2025, leading up to 30 percent by 2030.
 
The European Parliament has now successfully pushed through the stronger resolutions, albeit less than was demanded by companies receiving truck deliveries.
 
The targets are the first CO2  limits for lorries to apply in the EU. Countries such as the US, China, Japan and Canada already have such targets for trucks.
 
The new targets also include a quasi-electrification quota: manufacturers must ensure that emission-free and low emission vehicles (which produce at least 50 percent less emissions) have a market share of five percent by 2025, rising to 20 percent by 2030.
 
In a European Parliamentary amendment to the Commission’s proposal, natural gas - particularly in renewable form, as biomethane - was included as a potential option to support truck decarbonization in Europe.
 
Iveco was among companies which supported the amendment which asks the EU Commission to develop a methodology, no later than 2020, to include the effect of using renewable fuels in the computation of the fleet average emissions of manufacturers that offer CNG and LNG solutions to their customers.
 
MEPs are now starting negotiations on the implementation of the overall targets with the Council of Ministers
 
In response to the vote in the European Parliament, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) expressed concerns about the strengthened truck targets.
 
ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert said: “Europe’s truck industry is willing to commit to ambitious CO2 targets, provided that these are technologically and economically viable in the given timeframe."
 
“These targets would pose major problems, as they simply do not take account of the realities and complexities of the truck market, nor the long development cycles for heavy-duty vehicles.” 
 
A spokesman for Transport and Environment (T&E), the Brussels-based environment NGO said: “Now it’s up to national governments. MEPs have sent a really strong signal for ambitious targets but also that they are achievable.
 
"Discussions will need to move quickly but the momentum is definitely there for a win-win outcome during this legislature and for a deal to be struck that goes further than the European Commission proposal.”
 
Daimler is one of several companies, including major OEMs and startups, working on electric trucks. At a recent US conference, Roger Nielsen, CEO of Daimler Trucks North America (reported by Charged.EVs), told journalists that the company’s development of electric trucks is happening “at a greater speed than expected.”
 
Related news: Transport and Environment has recently released a report (Natural-gas powered vehicles and ships - the facts) which says that powering Europe’s transport with fossil gas – ‘natural’ gas – would emit as much greenhouse gases as using petrol, diesel or conventional marine fuels. The report finds that fossil gas cars also emit as much air pollution as petrol ones and that their limited advantage over new diesels that comply with the latest emissions standards could be eliminated by the planned introduction of new Euro VII/7 standards. T&E says that by taxing gas for transport at a rates much lower than petrol and diesel, European lawmakers are incentivising the use of this fossil fuel.


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