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EC sets out strategy to cut CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles; short-term focus on measurement and reporting

Heavy-duty trucks, buses and coaches would use less fuel and emit lower amounts of carbon dioxide under a strategy adopted by the European Commission. Such heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) are responsible for around a quarter of CO2 emissions from road transport in the EU. Without action, HDV emissions in 2030-2050 are projected to remain close to current levels.

While light-duty CO2 emissions are already being addressed by recent EU legislation, the new “Strategy for reducing Heavy-Duty Vehicles’ fuel consumption and CO2 emissions” marks the European attempt to address emissions from HDVs. The strategy focuses on short-term action to certify, report and monitor HDV emissions as an essential first step towards curbing emissions. The strategy is addressed to the European Parliament and the Council, which are invited to endorse it and help deliver the actions outlined.

Comparability among HDVs has so far been difficult largely due to the considerable variety of models and sizes of trucks available, which are highly customized to market needs and produced in much smaller quantities than cars and vans.

The Commission has developed a computer simulation tool, VECTO, to measure CO2 emissions from new vehicles. With the support of this tool the Commission intends to bring forward proposals for legislation next year which would require CO2 emissions from new HDVs to be certified, reported and monitored. This will contribute to a more transparent and competitive market and the adoption of the most energy-efficient technologies.

When this legislation is in force the Commission may consider further measures to curb CO2 emissions from HDVs. The most apparent option is to set mandatory limits on average CO2 emissions from newly-registered HDVs, as is already done for cars and vans.

Other options could include the development of modern infrastructure supporting alternative fuels for HDVs, smarter pricing on infrastructure usage, effective and coherent use of vehicle taxation by Member States and other market-based mechanisms. An impact assessment will be done to identify the most cost-effective option or options.

Studies carried out while preparing the strategy suggest that advanced technologies can achieve cost-effective reductions in CO2 emissions from new HDVs of at least 30%.

Background. In Europe, HDVs are defined as freight vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes (trucks) or passenger transport vehicles of more than 8 seats (buses and coaches). The HDV fleet is very heterogeneous, with vehicles that have different uses and drive cycles. Even trucks are segmented into several categories, including long-haul, regional delivery, urban delivery and construction.

HDV emissions represent about a quarter of road transport emissions and 5% of total EU greenhouse gas emissions. The Impact Assessment that underpins the HDV Strategy shows that CO2 emissions from HDV transport grew by some 36% between 1990 and 2010.

Projections based on a no-policy-change scenario imply that in 2030-2050 total EU HDV emissions would remain close to current levels, and thus around 35% higher than in 1990.

The Commission strategy is based on a holistic approach that covers emissions from the entire vehicle, including not only key components such as the engine, transmission and auxiliary elements such as air compressors but also properties such as air drag and rolling resistance. This holistic approach is not strictly comparable with that of the US and Japan, the Commission said.

The heavy-duty vehicle CO2 rule issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2011 does not cover the complete emissions of each vehicle, but only the cabin and chassis parts, in combination with a separate rule on engine emissions. It also relies to a large extent on self-declarations from manufacturers. Existing information points to the much lower energy efficiency of HDVs in the US, mainly due to much lower historical fuel prices than in Europe, according to the Commission.

Commission and EPA staff have been in regular contact and the latter have agreed that a holistic approach is preferable, according to the Commission. The EPA is currently preparing a revised rule for 2018 with the aim of covering the entire vehicles’ emissions.

For its part, Japan has a fuel consumption rule with targets based on the best-performing vehicles. Over the long term the various national legislations are expected to converge, as those addressing emissions of vehicles’ exhaust gases have done.



This won't work, it's just politic done by bureaucrats. It will be like the Kyoto protocol that did nothing to cut co2 emissions. They need to take decisions instead like for exemple collecting the garbage each 2 weeks instead of each weeks. Or using natural gas for trucking and cars instead of gasoline/diesel. What about a truck bi-fuel hydrogen-diesel ?? There is some solutions instead of been stupid like they do actually. There is hybrid operation like ice-diesel hydraulic pressure, etc.


More pointless regulations that A) will have no benefit to global climate and B) will only cause more harm to engine/cab/trucking industries.

Time to clean house in USA and EU and get rid of the endless bureaucracies and their desire to control every aspect of human activity for no other reason than warm-fuzzy feelings.

Too bad in USA, our only hope (the GOP) is hopelessly clueless when it comes to eliminating needless regulations regarding science and industry.

Time for an "engineering, science, and industry" party...... sure it'd be boring as all hell but at least it'd make good decisions.


What is your problem??? Are you jealous of Europe? You do not like the EU, or what?

This is just the first step towards an effective regulation. You have to start somewhere… Recall that the EU regulations to cut CO2 from light-duty vehicles have been very successful. EU is the leader in the world in this field. The light-duty fleet has definitely changed due to the regulations. Similarly, EU is leading in limiting harmful small (nano)particles from vehicles. It is a shame for the USA that you still have not implemented any regulation to limit particle number. Not even LEV III or Tier 3 will implement this. At the same time, the auto industry will change from conventional MPI (low PN emissions) to GDI (orders of magnitude higher PN). Thus, the levels of harmful nanoparticles will increase steadily in the future. Well, thanks to US EPA you will of course never know. Ambient air quality measurements are concentrated on PM10 and PM2.5, i.e. the mass of particles a couple of orders of magnitude larger. Nanoparticles are so small that they do not contribute to mass. Perhaps you should have a look at what is done in the EU. Perhaps you should put some pressure on your own authorities to adopt similar regulations as the EU in the fields of CO2 and nanoparticles. Finally, if USA would support the Kyoto protocol and later similar agreements, it would certainly have an impact. But, of course, you do not want to change your way of life. That overrules any concern for the planet and peoples health. Now, when the record shows that USA will be hit very hard by climate change, do you then expect some sympathy from the rest of the world?



A) Calm down

B) I have been living in EU for 2 years now

C) USA environmental regs far surpass EU regs, hands down.

My entire job is to deal with gov emissions regs in NA and EU for automotive applications.

The issue is, if EU adopted USA regulatory standards from 2007, there'd be no point for EURO 6.0, 6.1 or 6.2.

In USA, there's no reason for LEV3/Tier3 other than it empowers CARB/EPA to run roughshod over the entire economy.

Get over it, the air in NA is clean, and for the vast most part, the same is true in EU. Time to STOP new regulations that are all cost and no benefits.

Kyoto is nonsense, so is the hysteria over CAGW. The sky isn't falling the oceans are not swallowing cities, and godzilla is not attacking Japan. There is NO evidence to indicate the "horrors" of CAGW. Sea levels have increased at historic levels, the Arctic ice levels are within 1 SD of the 30yr mean, the Antarctic is experiencing 40 yr highs of ice, North America has seen record CALM weather, and the list goes on and on and on.

Funny that for all the doom and gloom prophecies of CAGW followers from the past 30 yrs, none have come true.

Please don't take my argument as being asinine (I know it comes off as so). Unfortunately, it is hard to convey sincere speech on electronic forums. Once again, I'm not trying to point fingers and call names.


It must have been people like you who chopped down the last tree on Easter Island. Thanks to people like you, we are now about to do that on a global scale. Why would I be clam when this is happening in front of my eyes?

In what way would the US standards from 2007 be better than Euro 6? You must be joking. If you claim to be working with regulations, why do you then mention Euro 6.1 and 6.2? There are no such regulations! You should know better. The nomenclature for the various versions today are “a”, “b” and “c” (e.g. Euro 6b). The next stage will most likely be labelled Euro 7 (limits under discussion).

Where did you get the information that the air in NA and EU is clean? Look at the data before posting such nonsense! Even Sweden, which is not so densely populated and where we generally think the air is clean, is facing a law suit from the EU Commission for breaking the air quality limits in several cities.

On one point, I can partly agree with you. There will be no rationale in pushing the limits for gaseous emissions in LEV III/Tier 3/Euro 7 (proposed limits under discussion) down further. When these regulations are implemented, old vehicles and other sources will be the main contributors. On the other hand, PN limits should be introduced in the USA, just as in Euro 5 (diesels) and Euro 6 (both diesel and GDI). What is done now in the USA will be a gigantic experiment on human health. Due to large-scale introduction of GDI technology and the lack of PN regulations, your levels of nanoparticles in ambient air will increase substantially.

Some 15 years ago, I proposed a similar way (i.e. a simulation tool) of regulating CO2 from HD vehicles as the current proposal by the EU Commission. My discussion was backed by simulations using available software at the time.

For additional info:


Hi Peter,

Once again, please take no offense to my arguments............

If you don't understand my arguments regarding EU vs NA emissions and (especially) OBD regs, then please call up a friend who deals with these things daily.

Let me state for the record, the theory of CAGW is as of now (and the past 30 yrs of doom & gloom predictions), complete nonsense. When it comes to the control of actual pollutants, the story it different.

The thing is, when we create massive bureaucracies to deal with real problems, these bureaucracies tend not to refrain from over-exerting themselves when the problems are gone. Shining examples... CARB. (USA has no air quality issues anymore)

EPA should control ALL emissions and OBD regs for USA, CARB is just another leftwing control element. If you don't agree, ask yourself why every leftwing lobbying group such as NRDC and Sierra Club always include CARB superiority as one of their demands every time they harass the US Fed gov.....


Sorry, correction..

"examples" should be "example"

Sorry again...


Also Peter, Euro 6.0 / 6.1 / 6.2 are what industry refers to the steps of introduction of Euro6, especially with regards to OBD limits.

USA 2007 regs far surpass Euro5 in that the USA is much, much more strict when it comes to enforcement. EU regulators are nowhere near as militant when it comes to enforcing regs. There is more I could say, but I will (can) not.

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