24 Jan 2024

HDVs Emissions: Trucks, Buses, and Trailers Getting a Green Makeover in Europe

The European Union (EU) has recently made another significant advancement in its commitment to reducing carbon emissions by reaching a provisional agreement on stringent regulations to reduce emissions from trucks, buses, and trailers.  These heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) are known to be substantial contributors to harmful emissions.  With the implementation of these new rules, there will be a significant shift towards cleaner and more eco-friendly transportation.

What’s changing?

Starting in 2030, new HDVs will have to emit 45% less carbon dioxide (CO2) compared to 2019 levels.  This target becomes even more ambitious in 2035, with a 65% reduction in CO2 emissions mandated.  By 2040, the EU aims to achieve a nearly emission-free status for new HDVs.  By then, it is targeting a 90% reduction in emissions compared to 2019.  These vehicles will predominantly operate using electricity, hydrogen, or other sustainable fuels, moving away from traditional diesel and gasoline.  Finally, by 2035, all new city buses in the EU must be zero-emission.  This initiative will contribute to cleaner, healthier urban air and reduce noise pollution.

Why is this important?

Transportation is a major source of CO2 emissions in Europe, and HDVs account for a significant portion.  The new regulations are a critical step in the EU’s broader strategy to achieve its net-zero emission goals by 2050, thereby playing a vital role in combating climate change.  The move also sets a precedent for other countries and regions to adopt similar measures in the fight against climate change.  Implementing these regulations will contribute to reducing the transportation sector’s carbon footprint.   However, it also aims to stimulate innovation and development in sustainable vehicle technology.

What’s next?

The provisional agreement will be presented for endorsement to the representatives of the member states within the Council and to the Parliament’s environment committee.  Following their approval, the Official Journal of the Union will publish the new regulation and it will subsequently come into effect.


Authors: Nikola Ivković, Vasilije Bošković