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Trucks can be 40% more fuel efficient by 2030 with CO2 limits

Staff writer |
Trucks can cut carbon emissions by up to 40% if the EU sets CO2 standards now, according to a new analysis by the research group ICCT.

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The preliminary figures show that European heavy-duty vehicles could slash their emissions 27% by 2025 and up to 40% better by 2030, thereby saving hauliers on fuel bills.

Truck fuel economy and emissions can be improved by increasing engine efficiency, improving tires and aerodynamics as well as hybridisation.

But the fuel efficiency of trucks in Europe has hardly changed in two decades and, unless action is taken, heavy-duty vehicles will account for more than two-fifths of Europe’s road transport emissions in 2030. The EU has no CO2 limits for heavy-duty vehicles – unlike the US, China and Japan.

The ICCT’s truck efficiency manager, Rachel Muncrief, said: "Thanks to the new US fuel economy standards, American tractor trailers will overtake European tractor trailers as the most fuel efficient in the world in 2020.

"The EU should introduce truck CO2 standards and it should hurry up. Setting a 2020 standard would deliver three times higher carbon savings to the EU’s 2030 goals than a 2025 standard."

The findings come as the ICCT also said that the early introduction of standards for trucks and stringent new targets for cars and vans would alone result in CO2 savings of 17.4% on 2005 levels by 2030.

T&E said these measures offer Europe’s best hope of cutting its carbon emissions in line with its climate commitments as well as delivering economic benefits.

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