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Amid the fight against climate change, the European Union is stepping up its efforts to decarbonize the transport sector, one of the main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. With this in mind, the European Parliament took a decisive step on November 21, 2023, by adopting new measures aimed at drastically reducing carbon emissions from heavy-duty vehicles.

This historic vote is part of a series of initiatives aimed at achieving the EU’s ambitious carbon footprint reduction targets, highlighting the challenges and opportunities associated with this transition. Here’s what you need to know!

What is the purpose of this vote ?

The European Parliament has voted 445 to 152 to impose strict carbon emission reduction standards for new trucks. From 2030, these vehicles will have to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 45% compared with 2019 levels, a target that intensifies to 65% in 2035 and reaches a significant 90% reduction in 2040.

This decision, which follows a similar restriction on new internal combustion engine cars scheduled for 2035, marks a turning point in EU environmental policy. It specifically targets trucks, buses and trailers, recognizing their considerable role in the Union’s 6% greenhouse gas emissions.

In a press release, the Parliament explains that MEPs focused on strict targets for various types of commercial vehicles, including :

  • refuse trucks
  • dump trucks
  • concrete mixers
  • buses, with a special mention for buses that will have to be “zero-emission” by 2030

This significant vote reflects the EU’s commitment to more rigorous environmental initiatives for a sustainable future. Today, carbon emissions in the freight sector continue to rise due to growing demand for road transport. In 2019, CO² emissions were 44% higher than in aviation and 37% higher than in shipping.


What will the impact be on European transport?

These new regulations represent a major challenge for the heavy-duty vehicle manufacturing and transport industry. The transition to electric or hydrogen-powered trucks requires significant investment in research and development, as well as an overhaul of current production lines.

Setting up adequate infrastructures for recharging or refueling with hydrogen remains a significant obstacle. Industry professionals are expressing concern about their ability to meet the deadlines set, while maintaining reasonable costs.

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Transporting goods by road requires special know-how. CERL operates internationally, as well as nationally and in Europe, with networks of specialized independent agents.

Need information or a quick transport quote? Don’t hesitate to contact us, our teams are available to answer your questions.

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