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Recharge EU trucks: time to act!

Trucks account for less than 2% of all vehicles on the road but 22% of road transport CO2 emissions. The relative share of truck emissions is bound to rise as the surge in electric car sales drives down emissions from passenger cars. To meet the EU's Green Deal commitments, Europe requires a new and ambitious policy and strategy to electrify heavy duty vehicles and decarbonize the freight sector.

Reported by Transport & Environment

While the European automotive sector was late to the electric car revolution, the early stages of the transition to electric trucks present the EU with new opportunities. All major European truck manufacturers plan to produce electric trucks in the early 2020s, but production volumes are uncertain, due in part to the current lack of a strategic approach to electric truck charging. In general, policymakers’ lack of clarity on where they want to take trucks – battery electric, electric road system, hydrogen, LNG, synthetic fuels – is a major impediment to the transition to a decarbonized road freight sector. In this regard, the type of infrastructure that the EU will support in the coming years is critical.

The new European framework and public infrastructure funding mechanisms should prioritise only zero-emission technologies. Using a key piece of EU legislation (covering alternative fuel infrastructure) to promote infrastructure for fossil fuels like CNG and LNG would be a violation of the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal. Electric trucks should be taken seriously in the revised infrastructure framework planned for 2021, including them in the scope of the law and setting appropriate binding targets. It should also propose a realistic and cost-effective strategy for the development of hydrogen and dynamically charged trucks.

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Reported by Transport & Environment

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