First feedbacks to the revision of the CO2 emission performance standards for new heavy-duty vehicles

CO2 Standards for HDVs
Our first feedbacks to the Commission

The Platform for electromobility very much welcomes the Commission’s willingness to revise the HDV CO2 standards. The standards are a fundamental tool to advance the zero emission transition, as outlined in the European Green Deal and advance the transport sector. More ambitious standards set the right pace and a clear trajectory  for manufacturers and logistics operators. Hence, the revision of the Directive (EC) 2019/1242 is a needed and welcome step of the Commission to lower emissions from trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles. The revision should align the CO2 targets for the transport sector with the EU’s overall -55% GHG reduction target in 2030 and the climate neutrality target of 2050. Importantly the HDV CO2 standards are the single most effective tool to achieve scaling effects in production and technology development, which contributes to making electric HDVs more competitive and widespread.

In particular, the Platform calls the European Commission to prioritise the following:

  • Almost all newly registered heavy duty vehicles (including long haul) should be zero emission at the latest by 2035, whilst an exemption can be considered for some niche vocational vehicles (such as construction trucks) with a 100% ZEV target by 2040.
  • The introduction of an intermediary target in 2027 is necessary to accelerate the transition to electric trucks already in the 2020s
  • Strengthening the ambition in 2030 is crucial to spur the momentum and further scale up production and sales of ZETs.
  • Crucially, no mechanism for renewable and low-carbon fuels should be included under this regulation

The Platform wants to stress that with regards to urban buses the revision of the CO2 standards should also take into account the demand-side targets from the Clean Vehicle Directive (Directive 2019/1161), especially when taking into account the purchasing of heavy-duty ZEVs for public authorities. The standards are an important tool to drive down the prices of buses of publicly procured vehicles, making them affordable for public institutions.

Lastly, the Platform highlights that the transition to electric trucks and buses is a considerable opportunity for the European electromobility value chain and the competitiveness of the economy. Ambitious targets would make Europe a leader in zero emission HDVs and thus further unlock the potential of the electromobility value chain.

Electrifying heavy trucks is particularly crucial in the wider context of reducing Europe’s GHG emissions as it makes up the largest part of the HDV emissions and allows to drastically improve noise and air pollution.

Investments need to be made for higher grid capacity to serve truck charging demand.


Our answer to the Revision of the Combined Transport Directive – Inception Impact Assessment

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Combined Transport Directive

Our answer to the consultation

Directive 92/106/EEC is the only EU legal instrument directly targeting combined transport (CT), incentivising a more sustainable operational model for freight transport. Nearly thirty years later, the effectiveness of the Directive needs to be improved as the freight market and transport have gone through considerable changes. Furthermore, the political context has shifted as well, with an increased ambition on emissions-reduction objectives deriving from the European Green Deal and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy.

The Platform for Electromobility agrees with the European Commission that, without an intervention to promote the use of multimodal transport, the uptake of more sustainable transport options will not take place to the desired degree and in the desired time-frame to reach 2030 and 2050 EU objectives.

Strengthening combined transport fits perfectly into the vision of an integrated and sustainable comprehensive mobility system. The role of intermodal terminals, in this context, stands out through the optimisation of the connectivity of the different modes, and incorporating rail, roads and waterway systems into the freight logistics chain.

Among the options envisaged by the Inception Impact Assessment, Option 3 appears as setting the most effective way to crucially improve the framework for combined transport in Europe. The extension of the support from today’s narrowly defined combined transport operations to all intermodal or multimodal operations, and the categorisation of terminals based on infrastructure and operational efficiency – both proposed also under Option 2 – would broaden the Directive’s scope and streamline investments for combined transport’s infrastructures.

Moreover, Option 3 foresees an assessment of the efficiency of the measures to support the attainment of the objectives of the revised Combined Transport Directive. This measure would  improve the reporting and monitoring conditions of the Directive.

Following this further, the Platform remains cautious about the viability of Option 4, which envisages mandatory harmonised support measures – such as a support to transhipment costs. Such proposal may open the door to state aid-related questions and be challenged across Member States.

The Platform for Electromobility looks forward to work with the European Commission to ensure that freight transport do not miss the decarbonization revolution and contributes efficiently to a sustainable, integrated and multimodal mobility system for Europe and set best practices for the world.


Our vision on the future of Eurovignette

  1. General Comments

Establishing a level playing field between all modes of land transport requires an ambitious revision of the Eurovignette directive. A level playing field across single market will then allow the development of a clean transportation system in Europe. Both rail and Zero Emission heavy duty vehicles ZE HDVs) will benefit from it, therefore reducing the impact of land transport on the environment. Revising the Eurovignette directive is therefore a necessary step towards 2050 climate objectives.

Two aspects of the new Eurovignette directive can have a true and significant impact on the deployment of ZE HDVs: external cost charges for air and noise pollution on the one hand, and improving the CO2-based tolling system on the other. Internalization of cost and an improved tolling system will significantly reduce CO2 emissions. The distance-based infrastructure charging coupled with CO2 differentiation is the ideal for incentivizing cleaner vehicles. Here external cost charging is crucial as well as the application of the “polluter pays” principle.

This reaction paper presents the Platform for electromobility’s point of view vis-à-vis the positions adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. Although ideally the “polluter pays” principle will be applied in all modes, the paper provides the realistic expectations of the electromobility sector to actors in the trialogue negotiations. This paper complements a precedent paper issued after the Commission’s proposal in 2017.