EU’S FIRST COMMERCIAL VEHICLE CO2 STANDARDS
In November the European Parliament adopted a higher target (35%) than the European Commission (30%) for new heavy duty vehicles to reduce the EU´s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, with an intermediate target of 20% by 2025. The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is calling on governments to adopt a well-balanced and viable approach to this piece of legislation, which in their view will have a huge impact on the future of the heavy-duty vehicle industry.
The ACEA made this appeal in the run up to the Council meeting later this month where the 28 member states are expected to adopt their position on these EU’s first CO2 standards. At a press conference in Brussels Joachim Drees, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus and Chairman of ACEA’s Commercial Vehicle Board of Directors, made the following statement. “We urge member states to ensure that the right framework conditions are in place for this regulation. Providing the necessary recharging infrastructure, as well as incentives for early investments in new technologies and effective support for the market penetration of zero- and low-emission vehicles will be key prerequisites to deliver on ambitious CO2 targets, and to encourage our customers to buy cleaner vehicles.”
The ACEA already judged the CO2 reduction levels proposed by the European Commission in May – minus 15% in 2025 and minus 30% in 2030 – as highly ambitious. The manufacturers believe this will require a rapid and large-scale deployment of new powertrain technologies – many of which are not yet readily available for widespread market introduction. “While using electrical power for a delivery truck operating in urban environments can make sense, a scenario where electric is the right choice for long-haul operations across Europe is much less likely in the mid-term, or even in the long run,” stated Mr Drees. The same distinction can be made for (city)buses and coaches. He mentioned that many of the basic conditions are not yet in place and are outside the control of the industry. According to the ACEA these includes adequate investments in charging and refuelling infrastructure, as well as rapid fleet renewal by transport operators.
ACEA says it supports the European Commission’s idea of introducing specific incentives to stimulate innovation and the uptake of alternatively-powered vehicles (the so-called ‘super-credit’ system). However, it is very concerned that this could be adapted to include a ‘malus’, which would penalise manufacturers who do not sell a mandatory quota of zero- and low-emission heavy duty vehicles. Another concern ACEA has is that the proposals on the table also include massive penalties for manufacturers who are unable to reach the targets. “We are not at all against the principle of paying penalties in case of excess CO2 emissions,” Drees explained. “But we are concerned about the disproportionate amounts being proposed.”