CO₂ reductions for heavy commercial vehicles

The result of the so-called trilogue between the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament on CO₂ reduction targets for heavy-duty trucks (>16t) is a reduction of 15 percent by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030 (reference period 2019/2020). This corresponds to a tripling to quadrupling of the continuous reduction in fuel consumption and CO₂ emissions achieved so far on average each year. Starting in 2025 the introduction of the benchmark system will consider positively emission-free trucks in the CO₂ fleet assessment from 2 to a maximum of 5 percent.

Achieving these targets in the time available is very ambitious and requires the introduction of new technologies in an extremely short time. In the event of non-achievement, manufactures face heavy fines. This poses an enormous challenge for the commercial vehicle sector, since alternative technologies are still very costly and not yet economically feasible. At the same time, customers will only opt for alternatively powered vehicles, if the necessary infrastructure required for charging and refueling is set up swiftly in Europe. Only this way, these CO₂ targets can be achieved in future.

The legislative process has been largely concluded and does not allow any further significant changes. We will now carefully examine the available options in terms of their technical feasibility and economic viability and then implement them.

The EU legislative process so far

In December 2018, the Council of the European Union (EU Council of Ministers) voted on the targets for CO₂ reductions for heavy-duty trucks and voted for a reduction of 15 percent by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030 (based on reference year 2019). Those targets were in line with the proposals made by the EU Commission in May 2018 and were thus lower than those voted for by the European Parliament in November 2018 (a reduction of 20 percent by 2025 and of at least 35 percent by 2030).

Relevance of VECTO

Until now, there has been no generally binding test procedure for CO₂ emissions and fuel consumption of heavy commercial vehicles. In Europe, the VECTO simulation program was therefore developed to calculate the fuel consumption of trucks in their individual configurations. In future, this data will be recorded and made transparent throughout Europe. From base period 2019/2020, the VECTO data constitute the reference figure for future EU CO₂ reduction targets.

VECTO stands for Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool. Click here for more details on VECTO.

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