Lorries, buses and coaches are responsible for about a quarter of CO2 emissions from road transport in the EU and for some 6% of total EU emissions.
Despite some improvements in fuel consumption efficiency in recent years, these emissions are still rising, mainly due to increasing road freight traffic.
On 17 May 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a Regulation setting the first-ever CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles in the EU.
Following its adoption by the European Parliament and the Council on 13 June 2019, Regulation (EU) 2019/1242 was published on 25 July. The date of entry into force is 14 August 2019.
From 2025 on, manufacturers will have to meet the targets set for the fleet-wide average CO2 emissions of their new lorries registered in a given calendar year. Stricter targets will start applying from 2030 onwards.
The targets are expressed as a percentage reduction of emissions compared to the EU average in the reference period (1 July 2019-30 June 2020):
The Regulation also includes a mechanism to incentivise the uptake of zero- and low-emission vehicles, in a technology-neutral way.
The new Regulation will:
Expected benefits include:
In 2025, the average CO2 emissions of new heavy duty vehicles will have to be 15% lower than the average emissions in the reference period (1 July 2019-30 June 2020). This target can be achieved using technologies that are already available on the market.
In 2030, the average emissions have to be 30% lower than the average emissions in the reference period. This target will be assessed in 2022 as part of the review of the Regulation.
As a first step, the CO2 emission standards will cover large lorries, which account for 65% to 70% of all CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles.
As part of the 2022 review, the Commission should assess the extension of the scope to other vehicle types such as smaller lorries, buses, coaches and trailers.
A "zero-emission vehicle" (ZEV) is defined as a lorry which has no tailpipe CO2 emissions. A "low-emission vehicle" (LEV) means a lorry with a technically permissable maximum laden mass of more than 16t, with CO2 emissions of less than half of the average CO2 emissions of all vehicles in its group registered in the 2019 reporting period.
In order to incentivise the uptake of ZLEV and reward early action, a super-credits system applies from 2019 until 2024, and can be used to comply with the target in 2025. A multiplier of 2 applies for ZEV, and a multiplier between 1 and 2 applies for LEV, depending on their CO2 emissions. An overall cap of 3% is set to preserve the environmental integrity of the system.
From 2025 onwards, the super-credits system is replaced by a benchmark- based crediting system, with a benchmark set at 2%. The 2030 benchmark level will have to be set in the context of the 2022 review.
As a result, the average specific CO2 emissions of a manufacturer are adjusted downwards if the share of ZLEV in its entire new heavy-duty vehicles fleet exceeds the 2% benchmark, out of which at least 0.75 percentage points have to be vehicles subject to the CO2 targets, i.e. the largest vehicles. Each percentage point of exceedance of the benchmark will decrease the manufacturer's average specific CO2 emissions by one percent.
In both systems, ZEV not subject to the CO2 targets are accounted in the incentive mechanism. Buses and coaches are excluded from the scheme. The ZEV not subject to the CO2 targets can contribute to a maximum of 1.5% CO2 emissions reduction.
The Regulation includes several elements to support cost-effective implementation:
The Commission shall review the effectiveness of the Regulation and report on this to the European Parliament and Council by 2022.
This review shall cover i.a.:
By 2023, the Commission shall evaluate the possibility of developing a common methodology for the assessment and reporting of the full life-cycle CO2 emissions of heavy-duty vehicles.
The following measures enable the implementation of the emission standards:
The monitoring and reporting Regulation requires that, as of 1 January 2019:
The collected data on CO2 emissions and fuel consumption together with other relevant technical information on the vehicles, including the aerodynamic drag, will be made publicly available by the European Environment Agency on behalf of the Commission, starting in 2021, to cover data monitored between 1 January 2019 and 30 June 2020.
The new system will complement the existing EU reporting system for cars and vans.
VECTO is a simulation software that can be used cost-efficiently and reliably to measure the CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of heavy-duty vehicles for specific loads, fuels and mission profiles (e.g. long haul, regional delivery, urban delivery, etc.), based on input data from relevant vehicle components.
The tool has been developed by the Commission in close cooperation with stakeholders.
More information on VECTO available here.
This legislation complements other policy measures such as the Certification Regulation, Monitoring and Reporting Regulation, EU type-approval system, Eurovignette Directive, Fuel Quality Directive, Clean Vehicles Directive, Directive on maximum authorised weights and dimensions and Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure.