Consultant report

Heavy-duty vehicles technology potential and cost study

Heavy-duty vehicles produce about a quarter of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from road transport in the European Union (EU), and some 5% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. And their share is growing, as emissions from cars and vans decline in response to increasingly stringent CO2 standards for those vehicles.

This study is aimed at informing stakeholders on the technological potential and associated cost for improving the fuel efficiency of new heavy-duty freight hauling vehicles in the EU in the 2020-2030 timeframe. The study analyzes a wealth of information regarding heavy-duty technology potential and cost available from the United States Phase 2 HDV GHG regulation, promulgated in 2016, and translated the findings to the EU market in terms of feasibility, effectiveness, and cost.

The analysis found that nearly all of the technologies that the US included in the Phase 2 HDV GHG regulatory impact analysis could be applied to European baseline trucks and that the resulting fuel consumption reduction potential that they bring is substantial. The maximum cost-effective reduction potential for EU panel vans, rigid trucks and tractor trailers was estimated in 43.6%, 31.5%, and 33% respectively.

The EU can substantially reduce CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, and most of the technologies investigated by the US during the Phase 2 rulemaking are also applicable to EU trucks. The findings of this study could inform policymakers’ deliberations in the ongoing development of standards, particularly regarding stringency, cost, and timing of the regulation.

Staff contact: Oscar Delgado