A group of 41 prominent companies, including PepsiCo [PEP:US], Heineken [HEIA:NA], and Nike [NKE:US], is urging the European Union (EU) to adopt stricter standards for trucks, with an aim to increase production and utilization of zero-emission trucks, as reported by the Financial Times on June 25. In a letter to EU environment ministers, these enterprises are calling for a 65% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from heavy-duty vehicles by 2030, compared to 2019 levels. This target exceeds the objectives proposed by the EU earlier this year, which aimed for reductions of 45% by 2030, 65% by 2035, and 90% by 2040. The EU is expected to finalize regulations on the truck emission targets in 2024.
Trucks, buses, and coaches contribute more than a quarter of road transport-derived greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the EU, accounting for over 6% of the bloc’s total emissions. However, in 2022, less than 1% of new trucks sold in Europe were zero-emission trucks. The group of companies believes that by setting more ambitious climate goals and expanding the range of vehicles covered by the emission standards, manufacturers will be encouraged to produce more zero-emission trucks. They estimate that raising the emissions reduction target to 65% from 45% could result in an additional 150,000 zero-emission trucks in 2023. The companies also called for a clear deadline for phasing out the production of fossil fuel-powered trucks, considering that trucks in Europe have an average lifespan of around 18 years.