NLA, BGL and FNTR: Ambitious proposal on CO2 standards requires equally ambitious targets for infrastructure for alternative fuels

The entire road freight transport sector is dedicated to adjusting to new climate-neutral energy sources and related technologies to deliver on the European Green Deal in a realistic and achievable way. The green transition of the road transport sector should be done in a way that is as fast as possible and at the lowest possible cost to society.

The “Common office” of BGL, FNTR and NLA recognizes that the European Commission has listened to the road transport sector by introducing a 90% reduction target of heavy good vehicles for CO2 emissions compared with 2019. That leaves a small door open for new trucks to be sold with combustion engines from 2040 instead of a complete phase-out.

The roll out of hydrogen infrastructure and recharging stations for HDV’s, however, is only at the very initial stage. Given the very ambitious CO2 targets, it will therefore now be up to the market and EU Member States to be equally ambitious to ensure sufficient infrastructure to deploy alternative fuels as well as an adequate energy grid in Europe. Close monitoring of progress towards the ambitious targets will be important to ensure that logistic chains are not disrupted.             

Battery electric and hydrogen fuelled trucks still come in the foreseeable future at a cost of 2 to 5 times the cost of an internal combustion engine truck. It is therefore important that there are incentives for transport operators to make the green shift, before it is economically feasible to do so.

The Common Office has for a long time called for the recognition of renewable and environmentally sustainable fuels alongside battery electric and hydrogen in the EU’s CO2 regulation for heavy-duty vehicles (HDV’s). This means that transport operators could make use of options that are immediately available in the coming years and decade including renewable and climate neutral fuels without the risk of reducing productivity or jeopardizing supply chain security. We regret that in today’s proposal climate neutral fuels didn’t find an adequate place.

Brussels, 14 February 2023

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