20 October 2023


On 16 October, the Environment Council adopted its general approach on the revision of CO2 standards for new-heavy-duty vehicles. Member States retained the main elements of the Commission proposal published in February to strengthen CO2 emissions standards and incentivise the uptake of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles.

Member States agreed to include in the scope of the Regulation all new-heavy-duty vehicles, with some exception for small manufacturers and vocational vehicles used for mining, forestry, agriculture or public services. The general approach amends the definition of “zero-emission vehicle” by further lowering the proposed threshold, which still covers hydrogen-fuelled vehicles. Furthermore, Member States added a sub-group of vehicles to include extra heavy combination (EHC) lorries in order to take better account of their characteristics, including with regard to their energy efficiency.

The Council maintained the CO2 emissions performance targets as proposed by the Commission: -45% emissions from 2030, -65% from 2035 and - 90% from 2040. Targets for the efficiency of trailers and semi-trailers have been lowered from -15% to 7.5% by 2030. Member States move the review clause by one year (2027 instead of 2028), when the Commission would be tasked to assess the deployment of adequate charging/refuelling infrastructure, and the possibility to introduce a Carbon Correction Factor (CCF) to take the contribution of renewable fuels in CO2 emissions savings into account.

The Council will now negotiate an agreement with the Parliament once it would have adopted its position. The ENVI committee is expected to adopt its report on 24 October, with a Plenary vote scheduled in November.

Source: Council of the EU