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Environment committee demands targets for decarbonisation of trucks beyond feasible levels


18 Oct 2018



The environment committee of the European Parliament calls for stricter CO2 targets for heavy-duty vehicles than proposed by the European Commission, and minimum quotas for sales of zero- and low-emission vehicles replacing sales incentives. These are the key outcomes of the vote in the environment committee today.


“Automotive suppliers fully support the objective of reducing emissions and deliver the many technologies to achieve this. However, the sector calls for realistically ambitious targets to best support the transformation that is unmistakably underway,” says Sigrid de Vries, Secretary General of CLEPA, the association of the automotive supplier industry. “It is important to defend the principle of technology neutrality. We need to deploy all technology options available to effectively and efficiently reduce emissions while managing the transformation of the industry and mobility decisively yet sensibly. Electrification is part of the solution, but it is not the only one. Specifically, for long-haul transport the efficient combustion engine and low carbon liquid fuel will remain a necessity.”


Even more than passenger vehicles, European trucks are already highly efficient. Trucks are tools for businesses, therefore fuel consumption is a major cost factor and efficiency a key criterion for purchase decisions. Setting the same relative reduction targets as for passenger vehicles goes beyond what is technically feasible.


Today’s vote stands in contrast to the earlier vote in the committee for transport, where a clear majority of members confirmed the targets proposed by the European Commission. The environment committee voted in favour of compromise amendments proposed by the rapporteur, which call for a reduction of emissions by 20% and at least 35% respectively by 2025 and 2030 as opposed to 15% and 30% proposed by the Commission.


CLEPA welcomes the decision by the committee to define low-emission vehicles within their respective sub-group. However, defining their number at 50% below the reference emissions essentially prevents any vehicle from being categorised as low-emission, apart from purely battery electric trucks. The committee also calls for a “malus,” a penalty for manufacturers which fail to achieve a benchmark of electric vehicles as a proportion of their overall sales. “These proposals run counter to the principle of technology neutrality,” says de Vries.


Furthermore, the committee calls on the Commission to develop a methodology for the life-cycle analysis of embedded emissions in fuel and energy production as well as the construction of the vehicle and parts. “Making the step further towards well-to-wheel or life-cycle analysis is important to level the playing field between combustion engines and electric vehicles. Automotive suppliers have long been arguing in favour of a well-to-wheel approach,” says de Vries.


The next step is the vote in the plenary, likely before the end of this year. Members of the European Parliament will now have the opportunity to propose amendments to complement the position of the environment committee. Member States’ governments are expected to finalise their position in the coming months as well. Once both institutions have adopted their respective positions, tripartite negotiations will resume with the aim of amending and adopting the legislation.


Note to the editor:

CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers, represents over 3.000 companies supplying state-of-the-art components and innovative technology for safe, smart and sustainable mobility, investing over 20 billion euros yearly in research and development. Automotive suppliers in Europe employ nearly five million people across the continent.


For more information, please contact:

CLEPA- Pilar Perez (