EU to introduce limits on truck CO2 emissions

Jul 15, 2016 12:00 AM

The European Commission will propose limits on CO2 emissions from trucks, following in the footsteps of the United States and Japan, and new fuel efficiency standards for cars and vans after 2020, according to a draft document.

The European Union has introduced a limit of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer (g/km) by 2021 for cars and vans but has so far not done the same for trucks, although they are responsible for around a quarter of road transport emissions and that share of emissions could increase by 2030, according to the Commission.

"The Commission will, therefore, speed up analytical work on design options for standards for heavy duty vehicles and will launch a public consultation to prepare the ground for a legislative proposal," the document says.

The document contains a list of proposals to lower the CO2 footprint of transport, including a "legislative proposal to set fuel efficiency standards for heavy duty vehicles" and a revision of emissions standards for cars and vans post-2020.

Some European nations had called for the EU to introduce limits on the amount of CO2 emitted by trucks, which pump out a large proportion of CO2 emissions but only account for a small fraction of vehicles on the road.

The industry, which includes manufacturers Daimler, Renault and Volkswagen, has typically resisted introducing targets for trucks on the grounds that their different shapes and sizes make a "one-size-fits-all" approach to limiting CO2 emissions difficult and fuel efficiency has already helped lower their carbon footprint.

Europe has lagged behind other countries such as the United States, China, Japan and Canada which have already introduced fuel efficiency standards for trucks.

The U.S. standards on truck emissions could lead to a 33 percent reduction of fuel consumption rates from 2010 levels, according to researchers.

To prepare the ground for the new limits the Commission will propose a law on the certification of CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of new trucks - namely a CO2 test procedure - as well as a law on monitoring and reporting lorries' fuel consumption.

The fuel efficiency targets will initially only be for engines.

"Over time this will be expanded subsequently to all categories based on the full monitoring data," the document says.

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