Negotiators from the EU Council and the European Parliament have reached a provisional political agreement on CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs). The agreement includes new targets for 2030, 2035, and 2040, aligning with the EU’s 2030 climate ambitions and the goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.


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The scope of the regulation has been expanded, from teh previous draft, to include nearly all new heavy-duty vehicles with certified co2 emissions, encompassing smaller trucks, urban buses, coaches, and trailers. However, exemptions from CO2 reduction targets apply to specific categories, such as small-volume manufacturers, vehicles used for mining, forestry, and agriculture, as well as those for the armed forces, fire services, civil protection, public order, and medical care.

In line with the EU’s climate objectives, the agreement maintains reduction targets set by the Commission for 2030 (45%), 2035 (65%), and 2040 (90%), in addition to the existing 2025 target of 15%. These targets apply to heavy trucks over 7.5 tonnes GVW and coaches. Targets for trailers are set at 7.5%, while semi-trailers have a target of 10%.

An urban bus-specific amendment introduces a 100% zero-emission target by 2035, with an intermediate target of 90% by 2030. Inter-urban buses are exempt from this target, falling under the general targets for coaches.

The agreement also addresses the issue of retrofitted vehicles, allowing the transfer of conventional vehicles converted to ZEVs between manufacturers. The Commission is tasked with assessing the need to facilitate the market uptake of retrofitted HDVs through harmonised rules for their approval by 2025.

A review clause has been included in the agreement, requiring the Commission to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the regulation on the set targets by 2027. The review will also assess the possibility of developing a common methodology for assessing the full lifecycle CO2 emissions of new HDVs and the role of a carbon correction factor (CCF) in transitioning to zero-emission mobility.

The provisional agreement will undergo endorsement by the Council’s representatives and the Parliament’s environment committee. Once approved, it will be formally adopted by both institutions before entering into force after revision by lawyer-linguists and publication in the EU’s Official Journal. The heavy-duty vehicle sector, responsible for over 25% of greenhouse gas emissions from road transport in the EU, will see continued efforts to meet the proposed emission reduction targets.