Road transport is a major contributor to climate change, and CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles have grown by 25 % since 1990, accounting for over a quarter of road transport CO2 emissions.
There are around 7 million trucks operating in the EU-28. Annual registrations of new trucks in the EU increased by 45 % from 2010 to 2016, to around 380 000. Around 70 % of EU freight is transported by road. The road freight and passenger transport sector consists of over 600 000 mostly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and employs almost 3 million people.
The EU truck market is dominated by six manufacturers that together hold an 88 % market share. Around 3.5 million people are employed in truck manufacturing, repair, sales, leasing and insurance. The heavy-duty vehicle sector is characterised by many different vehicle categories, technologies, sizes and weights, as heavy-duty vehicles are typically customised for specific clients and uses. This range of different vehicle combinations makes it difficult to estimate important parameters such as fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in a reliable and cost-effective manner.
Heavy-duty vehicles are responsible for 27 % of road transport CO2 emissions and almost 5 % of EU greenhouse gas emissions (2016 data). Since 1990, heavy-duty vehicle emissions have increased by 25 % – mainly as a result of an increase in road freight traffic – and, in the absence of new policies, they are projected to further increase. EU transport is heavily dependent on oil (accounting for nearly 94 % of the energy consumed by transport in 2015, of which 89 % is imported).
On 14 February 2023, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal (COM(2023) 88 final) to revise Regulation (EU) 2019/1242 setting CO2 emission standards for new heavy-duty vehicles in the EU. The proposed revision would expand the scope of the Regulation to include urban buses, coaches, trailers and other types of lorries. The average CO2 emissions of heavy-duty vehicles, compared to 2019 levels, would have to fall by 45 % from 2030, by 65 % from 2035, and by 90 % from 2040 onwards. The proposal sets CO2 requirements for new trailers and targets 100 % of newly registered urban buses to be zero-emissions vehicles from 2030.
Dig deeper into the Review of the CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles on our Legislative Train website: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/legislative-train/theme-a-european-green-deal/file-review-of-the-co2-emission-standards-for-heavy-duty-vehicles