Transportation & Logistics Analysis

CO2 emissions for heavy goods vehicles: the European regulation enters into force in August

July 31 2019

The new European Union regulation on CO2 emissions from heavy goods vehicles was published on July 25th in the Official Journal of the European Union and will enter into force in 20 days. The Manufacturers will have to reduce carbon dioxide emissions of new HGVs on average by 15% from 2025 and by 30% from 2030, compared to the 2019 levels.

For the first time the European Commission has set binding targets in terms of CO2 emission reduction for HGVs. Despite frequent accusations, heavy commercial vehicles, including trucks, buses and coaches, only contribute to 6% of the total CO2 emissions in the Union and around 25% of the totality of CO2 emissions for road transport. However, this is not a reason to avoid participating in the decarbonisation efforts, believes the European Union, especially as without new measures being put in place, the share of CO2 emissions from heavy vehicles will rise by around 9% between 2010 and 2030.

Financial penalties

The European regulation published on July 25th in the Official Journal of the European Union, following the agreement reached in Council in June, is making its contribution, considering that several other solutions exist. “Under the new rules, manufacturers will be required to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new trucks on average by 15% from 2025 and by 30% from 2030, compared with 2019 levels.” welcomes the Commission.

The text is obviously applicable to new heavy goods vehicles. The manufacturers that do not comply with these targets “will have to pay a financial penalty in the form of an excess emissions premium”, says the European authorities.

What about the harmonization of evaluation methods?

The CO2 emissions that will be used as a reference to enable the measurement of the reduction will be “based on the monitoring data reported pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2018/956 for the period from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 (‘the reference period’), excluding vocational vehicles”, specifies the regulation.

“Specific measures will ensure the availability of robust and reliable data. Data will be obtained through on-board devices which monitor the actual fuel and energy consumption of heavy-duty vehicles.”, the commission adds.

However, things are not always as simple as they seem in terms of evaluation and reporting of data. In addition, the regulation provides that the commission should evaluate “not later than 2023 the possibility of developing a common Union methodology for the assessment and the consistent data reporting of the full life-cycle CO2 emissions of heavy-duty vehicles that are placed on the Union market.” Where appropriate, it should accompany this evaluation with proposed follow-up measures, such as legislative proposals, to the European Parliament and to the Council.

An evaluation report in 2022

This new regulation is part of the broader framework of the “Mobility Package” and more specifically part 3 which covers “Sustainable Mobility for Europe: safe, connected and clean”. It will be the subject of a report on its effectiveness, to be drawn up by the Commission and presented to the European Parliament and to the Council by the 31st of December 2022.


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Graduated from the Superior School of Journalism in Lille, Anne spent most of her career in the international trade and logistics press, before joining Upply.
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