EU to introduce CO2 emission limits for trucks

BRUSSELS: The European Commission will propose limits for the first time on CO2 emissions from trucks and will also set new fuel efficiency standards for cars and vans from 2020, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.

The European Union currently has no limits on truck emissions, unlike other countries such as the United States, China, Japan and Canada, which already have truck fuel efficiency standards.

The European Union has a limit of 95 grams of CO2 per kilometer (g/km) by 2021 for cars and vans but has so far not done the same for trucks, which are responsible for around a quarter of road transport emissions and that share of emissions could increase by 2030, according to the Commission.

In Europe, the industry, which includes manufacturers Daimler, Renault and Volkswagen  has resisted targets for trucks on the grounds that their different shapes and sizes make a "one-size-fits-all" approach to limiting CO2 emissions difficult and that fuel efficiency has already helped lower their carbon footprint.

But last year, several EU countries urged the Commission to take action on trucks.

"The Commission will, therefore, speed up analytical work on design options for standards for heavy duty vehicles and will launch a public consultation to prepare the ground for a legislative proposal," the document said.

It lists proposals to lower the CO2 impact of transport, including a "legislative proposal to set fuel efficiency standards for heavy duty vehicles" and a revision of emissions standards for cars and vans post-2020.

The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), which includes Daimler, Renault and Volkswagen, said CO2 reduction policy for heavy-duty vehicles should not follow the same approach as that for cars because of their different shapes and sizes.

"The upcoming EU legislation on certification of CO2 from trucks will already require a mandatory declaration of CO2 values for each truck produced for the EU market ... This CO2 certification has a lot of potential to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from trucks," a spokeswoman for ACEA said.

To prepare the ground for the new limits the Commission will propose a law on the certification of CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of new trucks - namely a CO2 test procedure - as well as a law on monitoring and reporting trucks' fuel consumption.

The fuel efficiency targets will initially only be for engines.

"Over time this will be expanded subsequently to all categories based on the full monitoring data," the document said.

In the United States, standards on truck emissions could lead to a 33 percent reduction of fuel consumption rates from 2010 levels, according to researchers.