Press Releases

Mattes: CO2 targets for trucks are too ambitious

Berlin, 19 February 2019

Trilogue agrees on CO2 limit values for heavy commercial vehicles in Europe – 30 percent CO2 reduction by 2030. Interim target of 15 percent by 2025. Commercial vehicles contribute to reducing CO2.

Representatives of the European Commission, European Parliament and European Council have agreed on a common proposal for regulating the CO2 from heavy-duty commercial vehicles in their trilogue negotiations. 

According to the proposal, the trucks manufacturers should bring down the CO2 output from their new vehicle fleets in the EU by 30 percent by 2030. The savings must reach 15 percent by 2025. All the reductions will be measured against 2019 values. For the requirements to become binding, the Council and Parliament have to give their final consent.

Bernhard Mattes, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), commented: 

“These requirements go too far. They take too little account of the technical and economic reality of the commercial vehicle segment. The rules governing supercredits for especially environmentally friendly vehicles are insufficient. The incentives for introducing low and zero-emission vehicles are too feeble. In addition, the change in the incentive system after 2024 will make it more complex and once again tighten up the requirements. Alternative powertrains – unlike in the passenger car segment – are generally not ready for the heavy long-distance transport market. 

“Furthermore, the regulation shifts incentives for using electricity-based fuels (e-fuels) too far into the future.

Most importantly, however, we still lack a Europe-wide charging infrastructure for electric trucks just as we lack sufficient infrastructure for filling up on alternative fuels such as hydrogen. But without the infrastructure, the requirements that have been set cannot be achieved.

“The right target for a low-emission transport sector must be in harmony with balanced industrial policies and employment safeguards. This balance is missing here. And that harbors risks for the plants and for the workforce – meaning the punitive tariffs in particular. They are out of all proportion. Even large commercial vehicle manufacturers could see their existence threatened.

“Because heavy-duty commercial vehicles are used solely for economic business purposes, efficiency has always been a key argument for purchasing these vehicles. The OEMs have been reducing fuel consumption considerably for many years. Over the last five years alone, the CO2 output of new trucks has come down by around 8 percent. It is therefore certain that commercial vehicles have been contributing to reduced CO2 emissions in Europe for a long time.

“Unlike for passenger cars, CO2 requirements for heavy-duty commercial vehicles represent new territory. Reference values have not existed before now. Furthermore, the truck market is subject to its own conditions, because commercial vehicles are use in thousands of variants. They differ widely in the purposes for which they are used, the types of trailers or bodies, and their loading status. This results in differences in their CO2 emissions. Hardly any trucks are used on the roads exactly as they roll off the production lines.”

Eckehart Rotter
Eckehart Rotter Head of Department Press

Tel: +49 30 897842-120 Fax: +49 30 897842-603
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