All new trucks must be fossil free by 2040 to meet EU CO2 targets
Henrik Henriksson (left) and Johan Rockström (right). Photo courtesy of ACEA

All new trucks must be fossil free by 2040 to meet EU CO2 targets

Europe’s truck manufacturers have concluded that by 2040 all new trucks sold need to be fossil free in order to reach carbon-neutrality by 2050, according to the  European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). ACEA is the Brussels-based trade association of the 16 major car, van, truck and bus manufacturers in the EU. ACEA commercial vehicle members include DAF Trucks, Daimler Trucks, Ford Trucks, IVECO, MAN Truck & Bus, Scania and Volvo Group. To develop their roadmap to carbon-neutrality by 2050 at the latest, the CEOs of Europe’s commercial vehicle manufacturers have joined forces with leading scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). “Climate change is the most fundamental challenge of our generation. At the same time, the raging Covid-19 pandemic has put the spotlight on the crucial role that road transport and logistics play to ensure that food, medicines and other essential goods are available to those who need them,” said Henrik Henriksson, chair of ACEA’s Commercial Vehicle Board and CEO of Scania. “If road freight transport is to maintain its role in serving society, we need to move away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible. Not only are we convinced that it is necessary, we know it is possible and we are ready to make it happen. But we cannot do it alone; we need policymakers and other stakeholders to join forces with us.” A joint declaration by ACEA and PIK outlines the roadmap and conditions for transforming the road freight transport system. Alongside investments by the commercial vehicle industry, this includes policy options such as road charges based on CO2 emissions, and an energy taxation system based on carbon and energy content. A dense network of charging and refuelling infrastructure suitable for trucks is also crucial for the operation of low- and zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles. According to ACEA and PIK, a sound CO2 emissions pricing system could be one of the most effective instruments, as zero-emission vehicles simply will not take off as long as diesel fuel remains a less expensive alternative. “Science shows us that if we want to avoid crossing dangerous tipping points in the Earth system, we need to act today – combining all available solutions to make a rapid shift to carbon-neutrality,” says Earth system scientist Johan Rockström of PIK. “Zero-emission vehicles will not only bring down CO2 emissions, they will also further improve air quality levels – a factor of crucial significance for human health.”