Industry calls for holistic approach to decarbonising heavy-duty sector

Joint Statement CLEPA – ACEA

European commercial vehicle manufacturers (ACEA) and suppliers (CLEPA) are fully committed to swiftly cutting road transport CO2 and exhaust pollutant emissions and moving Europe to fossil-free solutions by 2040. A coherent and progressive regulatory framework is needed to establish the right market conditions for a successful sector transition.

Commercial road transport with heavy-duty vehicles is a B2B market driven by demand. Ensuring that conditions are in place so that transport operators will invest in and can profitably operate zero-emission vehicles is as important as fleet emission targets for vehicle manufacturers.

A successful decarbonisation pathway relies on a coherent policy framework that includes suitable charging and refuelling infrastructure, supportive and well-synchronised vehicle regulations, and an effective carbon pricing mechanism. However, several key regulations that will help convince transport operators to switch to the new powertrain vehicles, including AFIR and the ETS2, still need to be adopted in the interinstitutional process or implemented by member states. Moreover, co-legislators have unfortunately shown a remarkably low level of ambition to match and complement the ambition level set by, and for, vehicle manufacturers and our partners in the value chain.

In the upcoming revision of the HDV CO2 targets, the Commission should therefore set a fixed 2030 target considering the persistent, significant uncertainties regarding crucial enabling conditions. Targets for 2035 and 2040 should be set, while ensuring they are reviewed again in due time in order to assess the enabling conditions, especially the deployment of recharging and refuelling infrastructure.

While we are focused on making zero-emission vehicles the backbone of road transport, internal combustion engines, powered by fossil-free fuels, will continue to play a long-term role in heavy-duty applications. Therefore, a general phase-out date for the internal combustion engine or a 100% reduction target should not be considered at this point. Instead, policymakers should concentrate on establishing effective incentive mechanisms to encourage and enable transport operators to invest in zero-emission vehicles. Hauliers and transport operators invest in vehicles based on profitability considerations for their operation. Building a solid business case that favours zero-emission trucks and buses will lead to rapid market adoption of such vehicles, and swift decarbonisation of road transport.

Further, the CO2 emissions regulation for HDVs focuses on tailpipe emissions. But to effectively decarbonise road transport, Europe’s regulatory framework on climate needs to look at the broader perspective, ensuring that CO2 emissions are swiftly and effectively reduced in the entire road transport value chain. Europe should therefore aim for a pragmatic, progressive and technology-neutral approach that ensures scalable solutions can serve as the global pacesetter. Commercial road transport encompasses a broad range of use-cases and operator needs, demanding a wide array of technological solutions. As such, a targeted and customised policy approach is essential to defend and extend the competitiveness of Europe’s road transport sector and commercial vehicle industry.

In the transition to decarbonisation, a range of technologies will contribute to cutting CO2 emissions. However, with the current energy prices at record levels, high costs of raw materials, and persistent supply chain difficulties – all of which are negatively impacting the competitiveness of the automotive sector as well as its customers – the European truck industry needs flexibility in the face of competition from other major markets like the US and China.

The recent proposal for a Euro VII regulation for heavy-duty vehicles must not divert attention away from the transition to climate neutrality, be realistic in what is achievable, as well as being consistent with the investment needed for future CO2 standards. Close coordination between the CO2 and Euro VII files is essential with regard to the content of the regulations, the timelines for their finalisation and their implementation dates. Our industry’s efforts in investing to decarbonise road transport will benefit from a coherent regulatory package that strikes the right balance between improving air quality and encouraging a swift shift towards zero-emission vehicles.

CLEPA, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers based in Brussels, represents over 3,000 companies, from multi-nationals to SMEs, supplying state-of-the-art components and innovative technology for safe, smart and sustainable mobility, investing over €30 billion yearly in research and development. Automotive suppliers in Europe directly employ 1.7 million people in the EU.


About ACEA
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 14 major Europe based car, van, truck and bus makers: BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler Truck, Ferrari, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco Group, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, and Volvo Group. Visit for more information.


    In: CLEPA News, Electrification, Emissions, Environment & Energy
    • By Topics

    • Reset