European Parliament proposes tougher CO2 emissions limits

As part of its commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement (COP21), the EU aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030 then meet the designated 80-95% reduction by 2050. As part of this reduction strategy, the EU plans to regulate the environmental impact of Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDV) such as trucks, buses, and coaches.  Its objectives are to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, improve fuel efficiency and encourage the development of innovative technologies by EU manufacturers and suppliers. (source: EU) Large trucks are thought to be accountable for 65-70% of all CO emissions from HDVs in Europe. (source: Reuters)

European Commission proposal – May 2018

In May 2018, as part of its third mobility package, the European Commission announced its legislative proposal which presented the first ever CO2 emissions standards for HDVs in the EU. The targets proposed were for a 15% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2025 and at least a 30% reduction by 2030. These targets are to be reviewed in 2022. At that point, the EU will review the latest technologies and decide whether the objectives need changing. (source: EU)

This mobility package also announced incentives to encourage truck manufacturers to build more zero and low-emission vehicles, financial subsidies, various testing and compliance measures, and financial penalties for not adhering to the law, to support the achievement of the targets.

ACEA opposition

The objectives soon came under fire from the ACEA (the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association). It protested that the longer-term goal of 30% was unrealistic and that 16% by 2030 would be more feasible.  Likewise, with the 2025 target, ACEA suggested 7% rather than 15%. (source: Handelsblatt) ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert said, “it would seem as though the Commission has simply taken the exact CO2 reduction levels it already proposed for cars and vans, and applied them directly to heavy-duty vehicles without recognizing the fundamental differences between these vehicle segments.”(source: Reuters)

EU procedure

In line with EU procedure, the proposed legislation was then sent to the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and other EU institutions for further discussion.

European Parliament proposal – October 2018

In October 2018, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted to impose a higher target (35%) than the European Commission (30%) for new lorries to reduce CO2 emissions by 2030, with a mid-stage target of 20% by 2025.

It also wants “20% of new HDVs to be zero- or low-emission by 2030.” “Manufacturers will also have to ensure that zero- and low-emission vehicles (which emit at least 50% less) represent a 20% market share of the sales of new cars and vans by 2030 and 5% in 2025.” (source: EU)

ACEA reaction

The ACEA responded by communicating its concerns about the European Parliament’s decision.  In a statement to the press, ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert said that “Europe’s truck industry is willing to commit to ambitious CO2 targets, provided that these are technologically and economically viable in the given timeframe.” However, the extremely stringent CO2 reduction levels for 2025 and 2030 that MEPs voted on today go even beyond the Commission’s proposal, which was already highly challenging.

“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,” Jonnaert explained. “MEPs should be aware that trucks that will hit the market in 2025 are already under development now.”

The ACEA supports the European Commission’s idea of introducing specific incentives to stimulate innovation and the uptake of alternatively-powered trucks. In this respect, the industry welcomes the introduction of a super-credit system as a means to encourage the widest possible deployment of low- and zero-emission trucks.

However, MEPs have voted to transform this into a benchmark system, setting a CO2 ‘malus’ (financial penalty) for manufacturers who fail to reach totally unrealistic zero- and low- emission vehicle sales targets.

“This does not take account of the fact that the electrification potential of heavy-duty vehicles is much lower than for cars, especially when it comes to long-haul delivery trucks. In addition, recharging infrastructure is lacking, in particular along motorways,” Jonnaert said.

Next steps

The full House of the European Parliament will vote on the report in November 2018 before the law is submitted to the Council of Ministers where EU member ministers will have discussions, make amendments and convert the proposal into a final EU law. (source: Reuters)

TIP Trailer Services and CO2 emission reduction

TIP will soon start providing electric trucks through rental or leasing, possibly in 2019. Meanwhile, it is already supplying electric Light Commercial Vehicles (eLCVs) on a short-term rental of less than a year or on a long-term leasing basis (1 to 10 years). The long-term lease includes servicing and repair.

Customers can rely on TIP’s extensive fleet management experience and its network of workshops across Europe that are equipped to service electric vehicles. They can also benefit from its expertise in telematics and fleet management software.

TIP can buy your conventional LCVs and dispose of them as part of a part-exchange option. For more information on how you can reduce your fleet’s CO2 emissions with TIP’s electric vehicle offer, please contact your local TIP Trailer Services manager using this form.


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