The EU's new fuel economy CO2 standards and the road ahead

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All new European trucks must now meet tough EU fuel economy CO2 standards. Volvo Trucks is investing heavily in new sustainable transport solutions and continues to work hard to address the huge impact this will have on the truck industry.

Lars Mårtensson on the EU’s ambitious CO₂ targets

What are the new legislation requirements?
“As of 1 January 2019, all truck manufacturers must declare fuel consumption and carbon emissions on newly produced trucks sold in Europe. This is the first step in the declaration process that will help our industry meet the ambitious CO2 reduction levels – 15 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030.”

What is Volvo Trucks’ position on the new legislation decided by the EU?
“We view this as a positive development. But it’s going to be extremely challenging – the entire industry needs to double the pace of development for reducing carbon emissions. On the plus side, we will see significant reductions in emissions and an increase in the pace of healthy competition between manufacturers in the race for new technology. We also believe a more integrated, holistic approach could unleash even greater potential. This is not just about new technology – fuel-efficient driving, sustainable drivelines, improved access to biofuels and higher capacity transport also have a significant role to play.”

Lars Mårtensson

“We want to see stronger financial incentives for customers who choose to invest in new vehicles with a lower climate impact,” says Lars Mårtensson, Director Environment and Innovation Volvo Trucks.

How will Volvo Trucks meet the increasing demand for sustainable solutions?
“By continuously investing in new, more sustainable technology. We have already launched our first electric truck models and will start serial production this year. We also offer other alternative drivelines like LNG and biogas. Meanwhile, we see great potential in how improvements can be made to the whole vehicle and continue to improve the gearboxes, drivelines, tyres and aerodynamics for our range. The goal is to help support our customers with fuel-efficient solutions that suit their specific needs.”

Why should transport companies invest in more sustainable transport?
“Because this is the way forward. As this is long term, the second-hand value for more fuel-efficient trucks will be higher. This can be an important incentive to buy, for example, an electric truck or a gas truck. We believe that the customers and transport buyers who decide to be at the forefront will benefit from this development.”

How could incentives to reduce carbon emissions help speed up the transition?
“Volvo Trucks is recommending that financial incentives should be higher for haulage operators who choose to invest in new vehicles with a lower climate impact. Since this is an industry with a big interest in new technology but with small margins, tax incentives lowering operational costs would make a big difference to the bottom line. We also believe that increased investment in charging and refuelling infrastructure is vital.”

What will it take to reach 30 per cent lower transport emissions by 2030?
“In short, vehicle manufacturers, energy companies, haulage operators and their customers must work together towards the same goal. This is our greatest challenge yet and we must be able to fast-track rapid technical development – the current EU approval process is too slow. I feel positive about our position as an industry – we have already done well and moving forward we will do great.” 

EU FUEL ECONOMY STANDARDS

  • Average CO₂ emissions should be reduced by 15 per cent by 2025 and by 30 per cent by 2030 (base year 2019).
  • EU legislation for CO2 emissions from heavy trucks applies to vehicles produced and registered as of 2019.
  • Reduction levels refer to the average emissions from the trucks produced by the respective manufacturers.
  • Since 1 January 2019, all new heavy-duty trucks sold within the EU must have a declaration indicating fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The decided emission reductions are based on the values stated in the declaration.
  • Heavy road traffic accounts for just under five per cent of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

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