What the EU is doing

Transport is the only sector in the EU that has not recorded a significant decline in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990. The EU has so far adopted several measures to reduce emissions from road vehicles. However, CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency of heavy-duty vehicles are currently not regulated at EU level. Having committed in Paris to reduce CO2 emissions to at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, the EU needs to dramatically reduce emissions in the transport sector.

A tool to measure CO2 emissions from HDVs

In 2009, the European Commission authorized the development of a standardized CO2 testing procedure for Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDVs), resulting in the Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool (VECTO). VECTO is a vehicle simulation tool tailored to estimate CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles of different categories, sizes and technologies. Because of their many types, the European Commission divided trucks into 17 different VECTO categories based on their weight, axles and chassis configuration.

Monitoring and Reporting of CO2 emissions from HDVs

Building on the groundwork of VECTO, the Commission has proposed that, as of 1 January 2019, truck manufacturers will have to calculate the CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of new vehicles they produce for the EU market. This data will be made publically available from 2020 by the European Environment Agency.

A proposal for new HDV standards

On May 31, 2017, as part of its most recent package of regulatory initiatives related to transportation called “Europe on the Move,” the European Commission announced that a proposal for CO2 standards for HDVs in the EU will be delivered in May 2018.

In the upcoming proposal, the EC is planning to regulate trucks that fall within the VECTO categories 4, 5, 9 and 10. This will not include trailers, nor will it cover all truck types.

  • Categories 4 and 9 are so-called rigid trucks with a fixed bodywork
  • Categories 5 and 10 are tractors that pull a trailer, and together account for more than 70% of truck CO2 emissions of all categories

In other words, strong standards in categories 5 and 10 will generate the most CO2 savings.

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An agenda for a socially fair transition towards clean, competitive and connected mobility for all (reproduced here digitally).

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