First-ever CO2 standards for trucks must reflect market diversity, EU truck industry says

Brussels, 2 May 2018 – Ahead of the publication later this month of the European Commission’s proposal on CO2 emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) calls for an ambitious yet realistic approach.

ACEA welcomes the introduction of these first-ever EU CO2 standards for trucks, which are part of a broader strategy by the Commission to tackle emissions from road transport.

“The heavy-duty vehicle market is complex, and trucks are usually tailor-made to customers’ specific orders or are custom-built for a specific mission,” stated ACEA Commercial Vehicle Board Chairman and MAN CEO, Joachim Drees. “As this is the first time that CO2 targets are set for heavy-duty vehicles, it is of utmost importance that they are designed properly, and reflect the diversity of the truck market.”

From 2019 onwards, all EU manufacturers of heavy-duty vehicles will use the same calculation tool (VECTO) to declare and report the CO2 emissions from a wide variety of trucks. VECTO will provide a standardised, certified method for measuring the CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency of complete truck and trailer configurations. When it comes to setting future CO2 standards for trucks, the baseline should be based on this statistically-solid VECTO data, for which the first values will be available in 2019.

With this in mind, ACEA members believe that a realistic ambition level would be a 16% tail-pipe CO2 reduction between 2019 and 2030, with an intermediate target of 7% in 2025.

Joachim Drees: “CO2 certification of trucks will begin in January 2019 – these data will form a reliable baseline for future standards. But this also means a quite challenging short lead-time, especially considering that the product development of heavy-duty vehicles to be sold in 2025 is already underway now. Also important to bear in mind is the fact that key alternative powertrain technologies are not yet accounted for by VECTO.”

Any future CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles should focus on the entire vehicle, ACEA cautions. Setting separate targets for components (such as the gear box or engine) will not lead to cost-effective solutions. Component-based CO2 standards can even have a negative impact on the net CO2-reduction of a vehicle, as such standards do not properly reflect how the components are being used and how they perform in the real world.


Notes for editors

  • ACEA’s new position paper on future CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles can be found here:
  • CO2 targets proposed by other parties, and related studies, use a different timeframe and baseline. For example, a recent ICCT report refers to the 2015-2030 period and does not use the certified VECTO tool for the baseline, while ACEA’s proposal is based on VECTO and applies to the 2019-2030 period. Given the very different framework conditions, the various proposals for truck CO2 standards are not directly comparable.

About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is the Brussels-based trade association of the 15 major car, van, truck and bus producers in Europe.
  • The ACEA commercial vehicle members are DAF Trucks, Daimler Trucks, Iveco, MAN Truck & Bus, Scania, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, and Volvo Group.
  • More information can be found on or @ACEA_eu.
  • Contact: Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director, [email protected], +32 2 738 73 45 or +32 485 88 66 47.

About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.6 million people - or 5.7% of the EU employed population - work in the sector.
  • The 3.3 million jobs in automotive manufacturing represent almost 11% of EU manufacturing employment.
  • Motor vehicles account for some €413 billion in tax contributions in the EU15.
  • The sector is also a key driver of knowledge and innovation, representing Europe's largest private contributor to R&D, with more than €50 billion invested annually.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of about €90 billion for the EU.