Trucks and buses currently emit a quarter of all transport carbon emissions into Europe’s air, prompting European lawmakers to consider eliminating them by 2035.
Members of the European Parliament will vote this week on a draft plan that, if passed, will almost completely remove heavy goods vehicles and diesel buses from the continent’s roads in about 15 years.
Trucks and buses currently produce more than 6% of the EU’s greenhouse gases, including a quarter of all road transport emissions in the Green Continent.
Earlier in February, the European Commission approved a draft law that would end the sale of new cars with diesel and gasoline engines by 2035 in 27 EU member states.
According to the Brussels legislative project, greenhouse gas emissions from heavy vehicles should be reduced by at least 45% from 2030 compared to 2019, this number should reach 65% in 2035 and decrease by 90% in 2040.
Now the members of the European Parliament in Strasbourg have decided to set a more ambitious goal for 2035, with a slight modification, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by that year.
For heavy vehicles running on diesel or gasoline, the shift to electric or hydrogen engines (with fuel cells or modified combustion engines) seems inevitable.
Germany’s Daimler and Sweden’s Volvo have said that they will produce hydrogen fuel cells for trucks from 2025. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz, the number one truck manufacturer in the world, has just presented its first long-distance electric truck model.
Electric truck produced by Mercedes-Benz, Germany
Brussels, of course, knows that this “industrial revolution” faces the big challenge of producing electricity or green hydrogen to power this carbon-free fleet.
At the same time, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has expressed concern about “unrealizable ambitions” without adequate infrastructure and strong purchase incentives.
According to this organization, the 2030 target requires the production of 400,000 non-polluting trucks on the roads, which requires 700 hydrogen charging stations and 50,000 suitable public electricity charging points. This is due to the fact that such an infrastructure is almost completely non-existent at the moment.
On the other hand, the officials of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association say that the decarbonization of vehicles is not a one-way thing, and customers should have confidence in buying such cars.
MEPs plan to consider exemptions for government vehicles to speed up the plan. They say police or fire engines, ambulances, agricultural or forestry machinery could be exempted and the rules applied to some professional vehicles (such as garbage trucks, concrete mixers, etc.) that are easily decarbonized.
This is in a situation where European car manufacturing companies are under pressure from American and Chinese competitors. American automakers Tesla and Nikola or China’s Windrose are lurking to take over the European heavy vehicle market with huge subsidies allocated by Washington and Beijing.
Hybrid buses in France
In its initial plan, the European Commission proposes that all new buses that will be launched in European cities from 2030 be included in the “Zero Emission” plan. But according to an estimate, and with the “zero carbon” policy for heavy vehicles until 2030, European manufacturers may give up to 30% of the market to competing companies.
Now the countries want to postpone this deadline until 2035 and set an intermediate goal of reaching 85% by 2030.
Agnès Peñe-Ronachet, the French energy transition minister, said earlier in this regard: “The local authorities of the regions have recently made huge investments in transportation technologies such as hybrid or biomethane buses, and we must give them time to adapt.”
“We also need to make sure we have a proper industrial proposal at European level, because it’s a governance issue,” he added.
This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.
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