Within the proposal, legislators also state that all new city buses should be zero-emission by 2030.
The new targets align with the EU’s aim to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Rules to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans will come into force in 2035.
Frans Timmermans, executive vice-president for the European Green Deal, said: “To reach our climate and zero pollution goals all parts of the transport sector have to actively contribute. In 2050, nearly all of the vehicles on our roads have to be zero-emission. Our Climate Law requires it, our cities demand it, and our manufacturers are gearing up for it.
“With today’s proposal, we are making sure that new trucks are becoming less polluting and that more buses with zero emissions will ride through our cities. Fighting the climate crisis, enhancing the quality of life of our citizens, and boosting Europe’s industrial competitiveness go hand-in-hand.”
The proposals outline a phased approach to emissions reduction, requiring truck makers to cut CO2 output by 45% in 2030, 65% in 2035 and 90% in 2040. Previous rules required a 30% reduction in new truck emissions by 2030.
The Climate Group said mandating a 90% CO2 reduction by 2040 is “disappointing” and “doesn’t go far enough”.
Its director of Transport Sandra Roling said: “Together with EV100+ member companies, we have called for a full 100% CO2 reduction in Europe’s heaviest, most polluting vehicles by 2035, and today’s proposal falls well short of this. Without a full phase-out, the announcement today leaves needless uncertainty.
“In addition, the interim targets are too low, and start too late. We need to set a clear pace from the outset to create the market dynamics that achieve the target.”
The Climate Group claims that EV100+ members are fully committed to completing the decarbonisation of their heavy-duty fleets internationally by no later than 2040.
Roling added: “We urge the European Parliament and Council to be bolder and strengthen the proposal with a full petrol and diesel phase out date and ambitious, early interim targets in the further process. That would provide a stronger signal to businesses across the EU to invest in rapidly decarbonising the heaviest, most polluting vehicles on the EU’s roads, supporting its climate targets as well as the long-term competitiveness of its industry.”
Transport & Environment (T&E) said the proposed 90% CO2 reduction target for truckmakers virtually ensures that diesel freight trucks would still be on the road 10 years later, in 2050
The European Parliament and EU governments will debate the proposal before agreeing the final law later this year.