ALICE Policy development – Council agreed on new rules to strengthen CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles

The European Council has recently agreed on a ‘general approach’ regarding a proposal to enhance and update the regulations on CO2 emissions for heavy-duty vehicles, aligning with the EU’s climate goals.

This approach is the subject of extensive debate among industry experts. On one hand, organizations such like Transport & Environment believe that it represents a significant push towards the adoption of electric vehicles, which are seen as the ultimate solution to the issue of CO2 emissions. On the other hand, vehicle manufacturers prioritize the rejuvenation of national fleets, some of which still include vehicles that are several decades old, before further restricting the opportunities for new vehicles. Gruber Logistics is deeply concerned about decarbonization issues and, as a result, is closely monitoring this matter with keen interest. Now, let’s examine what the new approach has to say.

The Council’s text aims to strike a balance between the Commission’s objective of reducing the truck sector’s climate impact while granting EU member states some flexibility in implementing the regulation. The proposal broadens the regulation’s scope to encompass nearly all new HDVs with certified CO₂ emissions, including smaller trucks, coaches, and trailers.

The new Regulations and Targets are:

  1. A 45% reduction in emissions by 2030 (increased from the previous 30%).
  2. A 65% emissions reduction by 2035.
  3. A substantial 90% emissions reduction by 2040.

In addition, emissions targets for trailers and semitrailers have been set at 7.5%.

The Commission will assess the effectiveness and impact of this new regulation and the aforementioned targets in 2027. The Parliament is yet to vote on the truck CO2 regulation. The ‘general approach’ will serve as the Council’s authorization for negotiations with the European Parliament to finalize the legislation. The outcome of these negotiations will require formal approval from both the Council and the Parliament.

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