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ACEA: Proposed CO2 targets for heavy-duty vehicles overly ambitious

27 August 2018

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) issued a position paper calling for a relaxation of the proposed CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles.

The proposed CO2 emission standards include two CO2 emission reduction targets, relative to 2019 emission levels: (1) a 15% emission reduction by 2025, and (2) a 30% emission reduction by 2030 (subject to review in 2022). CO2 emissions would be determined using the VECTO simulation tool.

In the position paper, ACEA states that manufacturers are willing to commit to a binding CO2 reduction target for the year 2025, but “given the state of the market and technology today, a 7% CO2 reduction by 2025 would strike the right balance between being both ambitious and realistic”. Commenting on the 2030 target, ACEA suggested that a 16% CO2 reduction would be “pragmatic yet progressive”. Hence, ACEA is calling to reduce the stringency of both the 2025 and 2030 targets by about a half.

ACEA has described the official Impact Assessment document published with the proposal as “partially-flawed”. The actual implementation rate of the available fuel-saving technologies is much higher in reality than assumed in the impact assessment, according to ACEA. In addition, the potential of available technologies is calculated based on a long-haul tractor (group 5), while in reality the CO2 reduction potential of these technologies for the total vehicle fleet is lower than for this specific configuration.

The impact assessment also overestimates the CO2 reduction potential of some of the technologies. The impact assessment considers 14 technologies—improved lubricants, optimized SCR, friction reduction, improved turbocharging and EGR, aerodynamics, low rolling resistance tires, and others—and estimates their combined CO2 emission reduction potential at 27.38%. However, according to ACEA, these technologies have a combined emission reduction potential of only 11.50%. In addition, not all of the technologies are included in VECTO, and hence do not count towards achieving the proposed CO2 standards.

The ACEA position paper calls for a number of other changes to the proposed CO2 emission standards, including:

The European Parliament will start the discussion on the proposed CO2 emission regulation for heavy-duty vehicles on August 29th. A draft report for the Parliament will be presented by Bas Eickhout, a Dutch Greens party MEP, who called for increasing both of the proposed CO2 emission reduction targets, to 25% by 2025, and to 45% by 2030. The Dutch MEP has also called for “a binding minimum share of zero- and low-emission vehicles for each manufacturer both in 2025 and in 2030”.

Source: ACEA