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EU Approves Stricter Emission Rules for Heavy-Duty Vehicles

The European Union member states signed off on Monday on stricter emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles, which include a 90% emissions reduction from 2040.

The EU Council formally adopted today these stricter rules which are aimed at tightening the existing emission reduction goals for pollution from heavy-duty vehicles.

“More robust standards for CO2 emissions will help increase the share of zero-emission vehicles in the heavy-duty vehicle fleet across the EU, while ensuring that innovation in and the competitiveness of the sector are preserved and enhanced,” the EU said in a statement.

The new EU law keeps the existing 2025 target currently set at a 15% emissions reduction for heavy trucks weighing over 16 tons. In line with the EU’s climate objectives for 2030 and beyond, the regulation further establishes three new targets—a 45% emissions reduction from 2030 (increased from 30%), a 65% emissions reduction from 2035, and a 90% emissions reduction from 2040.

These targets will apply to medium heavy trucks, heavy trucks weighing over 7.5 tons and coaches, as well as to corresponding vocational vehicles from 2035 onwards.

The new EU rules also introduce a 100% zero-emission target for new urban buses by 2035, with an intermediate target of 90% for this category by 2030. Inter-urban buses will be exempt from this target, as they will be regarded as coaches for the purposes of measuring emissions reduction, the EU said.

The European Commission is set to review in 2027 the impact and effectiveness of the new emission rules. 

According to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, ACEA, the heavy-duty sector is responsible for just over a quarter of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from road transport, and for about 6% of the EU’s total GHG emissions.

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On the other hand, road freight is the backbone of trade and commerce in Europe as trucks carry 77% of all freight transported over land in the European Union, and function as part of a logistics chain whose components also include inland waterways, shipping, air and rail transport.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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