Press Release

Revised CO2 standards for trucks: new EU proposal to clean up trucking needs significantly more ambition to reach net zero by 2050


written by Team ECTA

A new EU plan fails to lock in a date when all new trucks will be zero-emission and thereby fails to give Europe’s industry the investment certainty to reach climate targets. A clear end goal of 100% zero emission trucks in 2040 is absolutely essential and would enable Europe’s freight sector to fully transition to zero-emission trucking, says the European Clean Trucking Alliance (ECTA). The Alliance also calls on the co-legislators to significantly reinforce the proposal with higher intermediate targets in 2030 and 2035.

The European Clean Trucking Alliance, a coalition of major hauliers, logistics and consumer goods companies, welcomes the necessary review of the CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs). ECTA sees the regulation on CO2 standards for HDVs as the most important tool to drive the transformation of the sector towards zero-emission trucking. Yet, the Alliance calls on the co-legislators to considerably increase the ambition level in order to roll out zero-emission trucks quicker and in greater numbers. ECTA strongly advocates for policymakers in Parliament and member states to draw a finish line of 100% zero-emission target in 2040 when all trucks sold are zero-emission. This gives freight actors a clear direction for the years to come and will ensure compliance with the EU’s climate neutrality target in 2050.

ECTA spokesperson and representative of logistics company Contargo, Kristin Kahl says: “Ambitious CO2 standards are made for exactly one thing: to speed-up the market uptake of zero-emission trucks up to the point where all new trucks will be zero-emission in 2040. Already today the progressive shippers and freight movers of ECTA are starting to roll-out clean vehicles. But we need to strongly increase the pace at which new zero-emission trucks are delivered as well as increase the model diversity now and in the next decade. That is if we want to take the decarbonisation of the transport sector and road freight operations seriously.”

Ambitious emission reduction targets in 2030 and 2035 would boost the supply of zero-emission vehicles in the short and midterm as truck makers need to increase the sales of these vehicles to comply. Importantly for actors in the freight and logistics sector represented in ECTA, this would make them more affordable to purchase. 

The 2030 target proposal of -45% falls short of its membership’s needs in the next decade. The Alliance calls on the European Parliament and member states to increase the near term ambition level to at least -65% in 2030 and as close as possible to 100% in 2035, putting the road freight sector on the path up to 100% zero emission in 2040. 

“The end goal of fully transitioning to zero-emission trucks is clear to us and should be clear to policy makers in the Parliament and Council. Regulators need to follow suit to address the lack of model availability, the operational challenges from the lack of infrastructure, and the higher upfront costs of those trucks”, added Kristin Kahl. “A clear end goal of 100% in 2040 and much more ambitious CO2 targets in 2030 and 2035 will remove these barriers in time and send a clear and strong signal to the industry to decarbonise their fleets.”

ECTA also says increasing publicly accessible charging and refuelling stations dedicated to battery and fuel-cell electric trucks is essential and should be addressed during the ongoing negotiations on the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR). AFIR will create a basic charging and refuelling network across Europe. ECTA urges the member states to increase the required power output of charging stations along the main highways. A minimum level of at least 5,000 kW every 60 km by 2025 and 6,500 kW by 2030 on the TEN-T corridors would unlock zero-emission freight operations for all distances. 

For more details, please see ECTA’s position on CO2 HDV standards as well as its position on the revision of AFIR.​​​

Press contact    

Martin Burgat, Secretary of the European Clean Trucking Alliance | +32 (0)492 22 90 80

More about the Alliance 

The European Clean Trucking Alliance is a coalition of over 35+ companies and organisations active in logistics, consumer goods, manufacturing, retail and supply chain management from across Europe calling for zero-emission road freight.

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