EU Parliament backs near-zero emissions for trucks by 2040 - photo credits @ Scania (illustrative purposes only)

EU Parliament backs near-zero emissions for lorries by 2040

On Wednesday 10 April 2024, the European Parliament voted in favour of EU legislation to limit carbon dioxide emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. The new law will require the majority of new heavy-duty vehicles sold in the EU from 2040 to be zero emission.

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Under the regulations adopted by the EP yesterday, CO2 emissions from new lorries must be reduced by 90% by 2040. In practice, manufacturers must sell the lion’s share of completely CO2-free trucks to offset the remaining sales of new carbon-emitting vehicles.

“We are providing clarity for one of the major manufacturing industries in Europe and a strong incentive to invest in electrification and hydrogen.,” said MEP rapporteur Bas Eickhout.

The EU legislation sets targets gradually. CO2 emissions from large trucks (including vocational vehicles, such as garbage trucks, tippers or concrete mixers) and buses will have to be reduced by 45% for the period 2030-2034, 65% for 2035-2039 and 90% as of 2040. 

Emissions reduction targets are also set for trailers (7.5%) and semi-trailers (10%), starting from 2030.

The legislation requires the European Commission to conduct a detailed review of the effectiveness and impact of the new rules by 2027. This review will include an assessment of issues such as

  • whether the rules should apply to small lorries, 
  • the role of a methodology for the registration of heavy duty vehicles using only CO2-neutral fuels
  • and the role that a carbon correction factor could play in the transition to zero emission HDVs.