26 May 2023


CLECAT has published its policy response to the Commission proposal revising the CO2 standards for new heavy-duty vehicles. The proposal aims to strengthen the CO2 standards for new trucks and buses, to reach 90% emission reduction by 2040, with intermediate targets for 2030 (43%) and 2035 (64%).

This proposed GHG emission reduction trajectory means that the majority of the new trucks brought to the market will be zero-emission while keeping the door open to trucks with conventional engines, probably fuelled with biofuels or synthetic fuels, for very specific use cases. CLECAT considers these proposed targets for trucks a balanced approach between the need to drive the decarbonisation of road freight transport, while maintaining the possibility to rely on internal combustion engines, when conditions are necessary. 

CLECAT welcomes the extension of the scope to medium lorries (5 tonnes to 16 tonnes), but the heaviest trucks (groups 11, 12 and 16) should remain excluded from the Regulation. These vehicles only contribute to 5% of annual emissions from road freight transport. Setting standards on these trucks would only bring a marginal benefit as their electrification potential is not sufficiently mature to decarbonise this type of vehicles with electric batteries or green hydrogen. However, there should still be the possibility for manufacturers to account zero-emission vehicles from these categories put to the market in their CO2 emissions reduction target.

Finally, next to stricter CO2 standards, CLECAT continues to call for coherence and alignment with other pieces of legislation (AFIR, ETS, RED, purchase subsidies...) which will drive the decarbonisation of road freight transport.

The full paper can be accessed here.