EU countries vote to pass stringent HDV emissions targets
12 February 2024
Reuters has reported that European Union countries have voted to pass a law intended to outline future emissions reduction targets for heavy-duty trucks.
The law passed after late demands from Germany had threatened to stop the vote. To win German backing a clause was added to cover development of future rules covering trucks using CO2-neutral fuels that would count towards the targets.
The law covers a 90% cut in CO2 emissions for HD trucks and coaches by 2040.
The change was requested by Germany’s Free Democrat party Transport minister Volker Wissing. It is unusual for such a change to be requested, particularly after a deal for the cuts had already been agreed.
A similar loophole was put in place at Germany’s request last year covering passenger vehicles using combustion engines and CO2-neutral fuels last year.
This maintains the target set last year by the European Commission covering a 90% reduction in emissions by 2040 for new coaches and trucks over 7.5 tonnes.
“The aim is to further reduce CO2 emissions in the road transport sector and to introduce new targets for 2030, 2035 and 2040. The new rules will contribute to fulfilling the EU’s 2030 climate ambitions and reaching climate neutrality by 2050,” the European Council said in a statement at the time.
HDV and coach manufacturers will be required to cut emissions by 45% from 2030 and 65% from 2035, compared to 2019 levels.
The heavy-duty vehicle (HDV) sector is reported to contribute more than 25% of greenhouse gas emissions from road transport in the European Union. Emissions standards for HDVs covering CO2 were set for the first time in 2019.
The provisional agreement is reported to also include a zero-emissions target for city buses by 2035. An intermediate 90% reduction is set for 2030.
Low-volume manufacturers and vehicles used for mining, forestry and agriculture, together with those used by the armed forces and fire services, civil protection and public order and medical care will be exempt.
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