Brussels — New EU heavy goods vehicles will have to emit an average of 15% less CO2 by 2025 and 30% less by 2030, compared with 2019, under an informal deal agreed upon by EU lawmakers.
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The standards are part of the EU's efforts to switch from oil to lower-carbon fuels in transport, cut fuel costs and emissions and improve air quality, the European Commission said Tuesday.
Meeting these emission standards would save hauliers at least Eur25,000 ($28,300) per truck in lower fuel costs over five years from 2025, and more than Eur65,000 over five years from 2030, the EC estimated in May when it proposed the new rules.
Truck makers who fail to meet the new emissions standards would face financial penalties.
Truck makers will also have to ensure that 2% of their new heavy goods vehicles sold by 2025 are zero- or low-emission, both the European Parliament and EU Council press offices said Tuesday.
"This provision aims to incentivize manufacturers to invest in cleaner alternatives to diesel trucks," EP press officer Baptiste Chatain said.
Clean transport lobby group T&E said this was "the world's first target for zero-emission trucks" and sent a strong market signal to truck makers to produce electric and hydrogen trucks.
But European vehicle makers' trade body ACEA warned Tuesday that the lack of charging infrastructure for alternatively-fueled vehicles would be a major problem.
"Currently there is no public charging or refueling infrastructure suitable for electric or hydrogen trucks whatsoever," ACEA secretary general Erik Jonnaert said. "Even in the case of truck-specific filling stations for natural gas -- CNG and LNG -- availability remains very low and patchy across Europe."
Hauliers will not "suddenly start buying electric or other alternatively-powered trucks" without being able to charge them easily along all major EU motorways, he said.
Both the parliament and the council, representing the EU's national governments, have to endorse the draft deal agreed by their negotiators for the new rules to become binding.
This is usually a formality, but takes several months.
The final formal adoption by the council, the last approval needed, is expected by the end of May, the council press office said.
The rules will come into effect after being published in the EU's Official Journal and apply directly in all EU countries.
-- Siobhan Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Edited by Jennifer Pedrick, email@example.com