Strong CO2 Standards Boost 50,000 Truck Jobs

In a recent report by BCG, the transition to zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) in Europe is not only an environmental imperative but also a potential boon for the job market. The report underlines the substantial economic benefits and job creation opportunities that could be unlocked through ambitious CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles. It's estimated that Europe could generate up to 50,000 net new jobs and €12 billion in annual sectoral value added by 2035.
The promising job growth is not confined to truck manufacturing but extends to the broader infrastructure and energy sectors. According to the report, the Commission’s proposal for HDV CO2 standards could generate 7,000 net new jobs and €10 billion in added value, but following T&E’s recommendations could raise those numbers to 23,000 net new jobs and €27 billion in value added.

The report underscores the potential risks of lagging behind in the transition to zero-emission trucks. Europe’s domestic truck manufacturers could lose market share to foreign competitors, resulting in reduced overall truck production volumes. To maintain the competitiveness of the European truck industry, policymakers are urged to set more ambitious HDV CO2 targets.

To achieve these ambitious targets, the report recommends investing in zero-emission powertrains and infrastructure. Battery-electric trucks (BETs) and fuel cell electric trucks (FCETs) are highlighted as the most promising technologies for medium and heavy-duty trucks (MHDTs). BETs are projected to have a lower total cost of ownership than diesel trucks by 2025, while FCETs are expected to reach cost parity with diesel trucks by 2030.

The potential for job growth in BETs and FCETs is significant. BETs could create up to 40,000 net new jobs in battery production, electric drivetrain manufacturing, and charging infrastructure installation by 2035. FCETs could contribute to the creation of up to 25,000 net new jobs in hydrogen production, fuel cell manufacturing, and refueling infrastructure installation by 2035.

The MHDT industry in Europe has the potential to bring about the creation of thousands of new jobs and a boost to the economy through the transition to zero-emission trucks. The report recommends several key measures for policymakers to seize this opportunity fully:

1. The adoption of a Net Zero Industry Act, setting binding targets for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 in the MHDT industry.

2. Enacting a Critical Raw Materials Act to ensure a secure and sustainable supply of essential materials required for zero-emission technologies.

3. Involving workers and their representatives in the transition process, ensuring that training and reskilling are provided to adapt to new technologies and processes.

In summary, Europe’s move toward zero-emission trucks presents a significant opportunity for job creation and economic growth. To unlock this potential fully, strong industrial policies, investments in zero-emission technologies and infrastructure, and collaboration with workers and their representatives are crucial. By seizing this opportunity, Europe can lead the global race to zero-emission trucks and secure a sustainable future for the MHDT industry and its workforce.

Source: Impact assessment of the transition to zero-emission trucks in Europe | BCG

Infographic showing 577K jobs in Europe in 2022 associated with the Medium- and Heavy-Duty Truck (MHDT) industry across suppliers (235K), OEMs (244K), ZEV infrastructure (11K), and energy companies (87K). Icons and logos of various companies are displayed.
Source: Impact assessment of the transition to zero-emission trucks in Europe | BCG
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