EU retains combustion engines for trucks with 90% CO2 reduction target

(EurActiv, 14 Feb 2023) The European Commission has set a 90% carbon emissions reduction target for new heavy-duty vehicles by 2040, a move that keeps the door open for the sale of some combustion engine buses and trucks beyond that date.

The CO2 reduction targets will increase in intensity roughly every five years, starting with a 45% reduction compared to 2019 levels by 2030, scaling up to 65% by 2035 and 90% by 2040.

The targets are fleet-based, meaning manufacturers must meet them as an average. As a result, while most vehicles in 2040 will need to be powered by electricity or hydrogen, a minority may retain combustion engines.

The regulation also includes stricter standards for city buses, mandating a switch to zero-emission technology by 2030.

The long-awaited regulatory proposal was unveiled today in Strasbourg by the European Commission’s climate chief Frans Timmermans, who stressed that the measure will reduce demand for imported fossil fuels and boost energy savings in the transport sector.

A shift to cleaner vehicles will also help to safeguard Europe’s manufacturing leadership, he argued.

“The EU is a market leader in the production of trucks and buses and setting this legal framework already now will help it secure that position towards the future,” said Timmermans.

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EurActiv, 14 Feb 2023: EU retains combustion engines for trucks with 90% CO2 reduction target