The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (EU) has reached a provisional agreement on stricter CO2emission standards for cars and vans. As expected from 2035 onward there will be a stop in sales of new cars and vans running on combustion engines. The Nordic Logistics Association (NLA) regard the agreement as a step in the right direction, but more actions are needed. NLA underline that deployment of alternative fuel infrastructure and strengthening of the electricity grid’s capacity is crucial to support the green transition.
The objective of the agreement between the European Parliament and Council of the EU is to move toward zero emission mobility for new vans and passenger cars. The proposal is a part of the Fit for 55 package that the European Commission published in July 2022.
Pending a formal addition, the co-legislations have now agreed to a 55% CO2 reduction target for new cars and 50% for new vans by 2030 compared to 2021 levels. By 2035 the CO2-emission reduction target for both new cars and vans is set at 100%.
“We wholeheartedly support the green transition. Yesterday’s agreement is a significant step toward boosting the production of zero-emission vehicles. Reaching an agreement for the ‘Fit for 55’-package sends a strong signal that EU is determined to achieve the green transition and become climate neutral,”Torsten Laksafoss Holbek’s, CEO of NLA, reaction the day following the announcement.
That said, the NLA CEO underlines that the agreement in its current form is insufficient:
“There is an urgent need to rollout the necessary infrastructure for alternative fuels, particularly recharging stations and fuelling stations for hydrogen. It is crucial to have multiple and affordable alternative fuel sources to choose from, we also need to keep an open mind to biofuel and biogas as an option for the heavy-duty transport sector.”
Therefore, NLA stresses the importance of implementing the content of the revised Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), which is currently being negotiated between the Parliament and the Council. Reaching an agreement on this would make it possible to develop the necessary infrastructure that for example enables a transport operator to recharge his vehicle across borders.
An upcoming proposal on CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles is now expected in the beginning of 2023. This proposal will potentially include an end date for the sale of new trucks running on combustion engines. To this end NLA would like to draw attention to the necessity of securing the necessary energy-supply,
“Battery electric trucks has a potential, but it requires that policy-makers secures the necessary electricity capacity on the electric grid in Europe. This effort should start now to prepare the grid for increased use in the future,”
“Moreover, NLA call for more economic incentives for hauliers who would like to invest and make the transition to battery electric or hydrogen vehicles. In the current situation it makes little sense to make such investments since these vehicles cost approximately three times more than a truck running on a combustion engine.”
The provisional deal on CO2 emission standards for cars and vans will now be put forward for formal adoption in the plenary of the European Parliament and at a coming Council meeting.