Policy update

CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles in the European Union

On February 19, 2019, representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Council agreed on a compromise for setting carbon dioxide (CO2) emission standards for new heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) for the first time in the European Union. The targets will reduce the average CO2 emissions from the highest-emitting HDV segments by 15% in 2025 and by 30% in 2030, both relative to a baseline determined from 2019 and 2020 data. The baseline value will be defined based on the certified CO2 emissions of new trucks collected under a separate monitoring and reporting regulation, which entered into force in January 2019.

The regulation sets CO2 emissions limits for delivery vehicles belonging to groups 4, 5, 9, and 10 as defined in the CO2 certification regultion. The vehicle groups correspond to rigid and tractor trucks with a GVW exceeding 16 tonnes, and with 4×2 and 6×2 axle configurations. Vehicles that are not intended for the delivery of goods are exempted from the regulation.

Compliance is determined by comparing a manufacturer’s average CO2 emissions against the manufacturer-specific targets. The manufacturer’s average CO2 emissions depend on the emissions of each new HDV and the registration share in each sub-group. There are also two strategies to account for zero- and low-emission vehicles (ZLEV) in the fleet. From 2019 to 2024, a super-credit scheme is in place, and from 2025 onwards, a ZLEV benchmark applies.

Total ZLEV incentives can only reduce the average emissions of a manufacturer by a maximum of 3%.

The regulation must still be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the European Council. This final step is regarded as a formality, and no further modifications or delays are anticipated.