Deal reached to boost number of zero-emission trucks and buses on EU roads

(EurActiv, 18 Jan 2024) EU countries and the European Parliament reached an agreement on Thursday (18 January) on new rules tightening CO2 limits on heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs), paving the way for a significant increase in the number of clean trucks and buses across the bloc.

Under the provisional agreement, which must now be formally approved by the Council of the EU and the European Parliament as a whole, HDV manufacturers must reduce carbon emissions of new vehicles by 45% as of 2030, rising to 65% from 2035 and 90% from 2040.

As the targets are fleet-based, truck manufacturers will continue to be able to produce combustion engine vehicles running on fossil fuels after 2040, but they will comprise a minority of their offerings.

Instead, the vast majority of trucks and coaches sold after that date are expected to be powered by electric batteries or hydrogen, eliminating tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions.

In a change to the European Commission’s proposal, so-called “vocational vehicles”, such as rubbish trucks and cement mixers, will also be subject to the targets, though this will only apply from 2035.

Military and emergency vehicles remain exempt from the standards, as do small-volume manufacturers and HDVs used for mining, forestry and agriculture.

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EurActiv, 18 Jan 2024: Deal reached to boost number of zero-emission trucks and buses on EU roads