Policy update

The European Commission's proposed CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles

On May 17, 2018, the European Commission released a regulatory proposal for setting the first ever carbon dioxide (CO2) emission standards for new heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) sold in the European Union. The Commission’s proposal marks the starting point of the legislative process that presumably will lead to the EU becoming the sixth major market to regulate tailpipe CO2 emissions from trucks.

The proposed targets aim to reduce the average CO2 emissions from new HDVs by 15% in 2025 and by 30% in 2030, both relative to a 2019 baseline. The baseline value will be defined based on the certified CO2 emissions of new trucks collected under a separate upcoming monitoring and reporting regulation, expected to enter into force in January 2019.

Manufacturers would comply with the binding CO2 limits using the average specific CO2 emissions of their regulated vehicle fleet. This approach offers compliance flexibility, meaning the CO2 targets do not need to be met by every individual vehicle. The regulatory proposal also includes incentives for accelerating the development and adoption of zero- and low-emission heavy-duty vehicles (ZEVs and LEVs). Additional compliance flexibility is offered in the banking and borrowing scheme in which manufacturers are allowed to accumulate CO2 emissions credits and debts during specific periods of time.