EU set to cut carbon dioxide emission levels for new trucks by 30%

23 April 2019 | Mitigation

European lorry makers face having to cut the carbon dioxide emissions for new trucks by almost a third by 2030, while a UK government body has called for a total ban on new petrol and diesel heavy goods vehicles by 2040.

Lorries are the latest target of attempts to radically reduce vehicle emissions and force the automotive industry to move away from fossil fuels amid increased concern over global warming and air pollution.

The European parliament on Thursday will vote on laws that would force lorry makers to cut carbon emissions from new trucks by 15% by 2025 and by 30% by 2030.

Lorries, buses and coaches produce more than a quarter of the EU’s CO2emissions from road transport and about 6% of total CO2 emissions, according to EU data.

It is thought to be highly likely that the proposals will pass the parliamentary vote. The new rules would apply to the UK after Brexit, as the government is committed to emissions standards that are at least as ambitious as current arrangements governed by the EU.

Separately, the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), which is appointed by the Treasury, on Wednesday said British ministers should ban the sale of new petrol and diesel heavy goods vehicles no later than 2040, matching a similar ban on internal combustion engine cars.

The vast majority of goods vehicles on British roads run on diesel because of its higher fuel efficiency. However, the NIC said that the industry would be able to move to hydrogen fuel cell and battery lorries in the early 2020s.

The haulage industry and business groups have strongly objected to the NIC’s proposals. Richard Burnett, chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, described the proposed ban as “simplistic”, not realistic and not credible given the lack of alternative fuel sources for long-haul heavy goods vehicles.

The tougher attitude towards lorries comes amid a crackdown on carbon emissions across the road transport sector. From 2021, EU carmakers will have to meet an average CO2 emissions target for new cars of 95g per kilometre.

However, Transport & Environment (T&E), a Brussels-based campaign group, has raised multiple concerns that carmakers are using loopholes to game the system, avoiding the penalties.

T&E highlighted the potential for carmakers to sell “fake” electric cars, hybrids that mainly rely on petrol power alongside a little-used, low-range electric motor. Selling more electric vehicles means carmakers are allowed to meet less stringent carbon-reduction measures.

Miriam Dalli, a Maltese Labour MEP who was part of the negotiations on the EU carbon limits, told the Guardian the rules had faced fierce opposition from the industry and some member states, including industry-backed studies with “unrealistic assumptions that led to totally misleading results”.



Source: The Guardian