In a joint statement, European commercial vehicle manufacturers (ACEA) and suppliers (CLEPA) reaffirmed their full commitment to decarbonise the road transport sector but call for a coherent and progressive regulatory framework to establish the right market conditions for a successful sector transition.
Commercial road transport with heavy-duty vehicles is a B2B market driven by demand. Ensuring that conditions are in place so that transport operators will invest in and can profitably operate zero-emission vehicles is as important as fleet emission targets for vehicle manufacturers.
A successful decarbonisation pathway relies on a coherent policy framework that includes suitable charging and refuelling infrastructure, supportive and well-synchronised vehicle regulations, and an effective carbon pricing mechanism. Co-legislators have unfortunately shown a remarkably low level of ambition to match and complement the ambition level set by, and for, vehicle manufacturers and our partners in the value chain.
In the upcoming revision of the HDV CO2 targets, the Commission should set a fixed 2030 target considering the persistent, significant uncertainties regarding crucial enabling conditions. Targets for 2035 and 2040 should be set, while ensuring they are reviewed again in due time in order to assess the enabling conditions, especially the deployment of recharging and refuelling infrastructure.
Policymakers should concentrate on establishing effective incentive mechanisms to encourage and enable transport operators to invest in zero-emission vehicles. Hauliers and transport operators invest in vehicles based on profitability considerations for their operation. Building a solid business case that favours zero-emission trucks and buses will lead to rapid market adoption of such vehicles, and swift decarbonisation of road transport.
The recent proposal for a Euro VII regulation for heavy-duty vehicles must not divert attention away from the transition to climate neutrality, be realistic in what is achievable, as well as being consistent with the investment needed for future CO2 standards. Close coordination between the CO2 and Euro VII files is essential with regard to the content of the regulations, the timelines for their finalisation and their implementation dates. Our industry’s efforts in investing to decarbonise road transport will benefit from a coherent regulatory package that strikes the right balance between improving air quality and encouraging a swift shift towards zero-emission vehicles.