• EU reaches deal on near phase-out of diesel trucks

    Lawmakers agree CO2 targets for lorries – but also garbage and construction trucks.

    European lawmakers today agreed CO2 targets for heavy-duty vehicles that will phase out almost all sales of new diesel trucks by 2040. Manufacturers will have to cut the average emissions of new trucks by 45% in 2030, 65% in 2035 and 90% in 2040. Green group Transport & Environment (T&E) said the law provides European truck producers planning certainty to go zero emissions and compete with foreign electric truckmakers.

    Fedor Unterlohner, freight manager at T&E, said: “The EU is clearly telling truckmakers when almost all their vehicles will need to be zero emissions. European producers now have a clear trajectory to ramp up production of electric and hydrogen rigs and be ready for the challenge of Tesla and Chinese rivals.”

    EU governments and MEPs agreed that, from 2035, the targets will also apply to vocational vehicles such as garbage and construction trucks. T&E said this extension will result in an additional 7% of the heavy-duty vehicle market being subject to CO2 targets. The negotiators resisted pressure from the fossil fuel industry to create a loophole in the targets for e-fuels and biofuels. 

    Trailer manufacturers need to improve the emissions performance of truck trailers by 10% in 2030 – a weaker target than proposed by the Commission. The CO2 target for buses was also reduced to 90% in 2030, reaching 100% by 2035.

    T&E estimates the EU targets will result in around 30% of trucks sold in 2030, and at least three-quarters in 2040, being zero emissions – electric or hydrogen. After cars, heavy-duty vehicles are the biggest transport polluter in Europe.

    Fedor Unterlohner concluded: “No stakeholder got everything they wanted, but the truth is this is a very balanced deal and positive news. One of Europe’s biggest polluters has a path to go green. Long-term investment certainty has been given to manufacturers and the freight industry. Now let’s start implementing.”