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European Commission proposes 15% reduction in CO2 for new heavy-duty trucks by 2025, indicative target of 30% by 2030

In the third set of measures designed to implement the “Europe on the Move” goals of modernizing the transport system, the European Commission is proposing a 15% reduction in new heavy-duty truck CO2 emissions by 2025 from 2019 levels. For 2030, the Commission proposed an indicative reduction target of at least 30%. The Commission also put forward a comprehensive action plan for battery production.

As a second step in implementing the new CO2 regulations, as part of an early review in 2022, the scope of these standards would be extended to smaller trucks, buses, coaches and trailers. During this review, the Commission will also make a proposal to determine the target for 2030.

To allow for further CO2 reductions, the Commission said it was making it easier to design more aerodynamic trucks and is improving energy labeling for tires.

  • The Commission proposed bringing forward the date (by three years to 2019), when manufacturers put on the market new heavy goods vehicles with more rounded and aerodynamic cabins. Besides CO2 reductions, this will improve road safety and the visibility and comfort of drivers, the Commission said.

  • Revised energy labels for tires strengthen the requirements on fuel efficiency, noise and safety, and will apply to all tires: cars, vans or heavy-duty vehicles. Once they come into force, consumers will have more information to choose efficient and safe tires, the Commission said.

The proposals need to be approved by EU governments and the European Parliament before becoming law.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), representing the seven major EU producers of heavy-duty vehicles, said that it welcomed the Commission’s two-step approach, with targets set for 2025 and 2030, as well as the proposal to validate the indicative 2030 target at a later point, as this would allow the latest fuel efficiency technologies available at that point in time to be taken into account.

However, ACEA said that the reduction levels proposed by the Commission for 2025 and 2030—15% and 30% respectively—are “far too aggressive, and have not been selected with the specific nature of the truck market in mind.” Given that the product development of heavy-duty vehicles to be sold in 2025 is already underway, the 2025 ambition level is too stringent given the short lead-time for this first CO2 target, ACEA said.

Further, following the 15% reduction by 2025 with another 15% by 2030 goes against a realistic technology ramp-up, as the most advanced fuel-saving technologies will take time to be developed, ACEA added.

ACEA said that it accepts the introduction of CO2 standards for trucks, but called for them to be carefully and properly designed, bearing in mind the importance and complexity of the market.

Depending on their mission, most trucks are custom-built on an individual basis to meet specific requirements. They can vary from the number of axles to the size of the engine, fuel tank or cab, to the height of the chassis. When taking the complete vehicle into account—a rigid body or a tractor plus a trailer—the truck market becomes even more complex.

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 fully recognizing the fundamental differences between these vehicle segments.

—ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert

Batteries. Currently, the EU has no capability to develop and mass produce battery cells—the most expensive item of an electric car. Following up on the EU Batteries Alliance launched in October 2017 (earlier post), the Battery Action Plan sets out a number of EU measures which can help Member States, regions and European industry establish competitive, innovative and sustainable battery manufacturing projects in the EU. These measures include support for:

  • Investment in research and innovation for electro-mobility and stationary applications including the use of EU financing mechanisms;

  • Securing access to raw materials and to reduce dependency on critical raw materials;

  • Developing the necessary skills for the new manufacturing processes and emerging technologies; and

  • Putting in place a supportive EU regulatory framework including the reinforcement of the collection and recycling schemes in the Batteries Directive.



Well, dear EU Commission, start to promote gasoline engines for HD vehicles and you will get +15% and +30% CO2 instead. This is what is happening right now with light-duty vehicles.


Hybrids increase mileage and reduce emissions.


Let's take a leap and really do something about pollution; hybrids have ICEs that are polluters. How about we jump to BEVs so we can save the children.

You have to quit building ICEs, period.


Look at what is likely to happen and can happen versus a mandate by someone who thinks they know what is best for everyone else.


One of the most polluted places in Europe is "Neckartor" in Stuttgart. The average concentration of NO2 there was 73 ug/m3 in 2017, i.e. well above the EU limit of 40 mg/m3. The limit in the USA (at 53 ppb) corresponds to ~108 ug/m3. This strange situation was pointed out already in the recent Bosch paper; for those who bothered to read it. The mentioned US limit for NO2 has been set well below the level when any harm to humans is considered to happen. EU seems to be more cautious and perhaps we even focus at the "wrong" emission component. NO and NO2 are "natural" substances in our body and most likely, there is a threshold level, which is not the case for other emission components, e.g. PM and PN.

All-in-all, we could conclude that the level at one of the most polluted "hot spots" in the EU is well below the limits in the USA. In fact, Stuttgart would presumably be considered a very clean city, if it was located in the USA. Fortunate for you, Americans, is that you tolerate much higher NO2 levels than we do in the EU.

Lad, what children should we care for? What about the children in Congo who produce cobalt for BEV batteries?

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