Truck on the road. Illustrative photo.
Prague – Domestic automakers consider the European Commission's new plan to reduce CO2 emissions from newly manufactured heavy trucks by 90 percent by 2040 to be unrealistic. According to them, other goals are also too ambitious, for example the requirement to produce only emission-free city buses as early as 2030 or to reduce CO2 emissions by 45 percent by this year. This was stated by the Association of the Automotive Industry in today's press release.
More than 78 percent of the transport of goods and people in the EU is carried out by road, according to the association. The proposed changes will thus affect not only manufacturers, but also transport operators, and above all, residents and companies, for whom this will mean an increase in the price of goods and services.
“At the same time, the real decarbonisation of road transport requires significantly more than just tightening the CO2 targets for manufacturers. Today, technology alone is not an obstacle to the transition to climate neutrality. At the moment, this is due to both the lack of resources, especially batteries, and the actual non-existence of the necessary recharging and filling infrastructure. At the same time the conditions that would motivate transport operators to change their vehicle fleet are completely lacking, be it the tax environment or the availability of infrastructure,” the association said.
The manufacturers are therefore appealing to the Czech government to advocate for amending the proposal. They propose setting a requirement to reduce CO2 emissions for heavy vehicles by 40 percent by 2035 against 2019 and by 50 percent by 2040. They also want to remove the premature ban on combustion engines for the city bus category and postpone it until at least 2035. The proposal should also not apply to special vehicles, i.e. fire fighters or soldiers. At the same time, they would like to supplement it with a mechanism that, in the spirit of technological neutrality, would take into account the potential of using renewable/CO2 neutral fuels.
“The automotive industry has perhaps never in history been in such a complicated situation as it is now. In addition to production outages due to the persistent global shortage of chips or the effects of high energy and material prices, vehicle manufacturers are literally overwhelmed by an excessive amount of incoming European legislation. Especially in the context of the recent proposal of the new Euro 7/VII emission standards, we consider the requirement for the speed of reducing CO2 emissions to be extremely tough,” said David Kříž, a member of the board of directors of the association and CEO of Iveco CR.
Commercial road transport is, according to car companies, a business-to-business market driven by demand and pressure for low TCO (total cost of ownership and operation of the vehicle). Transport operators will quickly switch to emission-free vehicles in a situation where charging/refueling infrastructure will no longer be considered an obstacle and the total cost of ownership will be clearly in favor of battery electric or hydrogen vehicles.
The proposal, which is part of the so-called Green agreements for Europe (Green Deal) must be approved by the member states and the European Parliament.