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Mercedes-Benz Trucks opens charging park for customers in Wörth, Germany.

Clean Transport

Electric Trucks: It’s Time To Gear Up

Trucks are a real climate problem for Europe. In addition to the noise and air pollution they generate, their greenhouse gas emissions reach 26% of the total of the road sector, while they represent only 2% of the vehicles in circulation. Today, they are almost exclusively diesel powered. Without major change, their emissions will continue to grow in the coming decades and will cancel out the efforts made in the decarbonization of cars.

It is therefore urgent to accelerate the deployment of zero-emission trucks, electric in particular, and potentially hydrogen, in France and in Europe. These emit 80% to 90% less CO2 than a diesel truck over their entire life cycle. In addition, their autonomy is constantly increasing: many manufacturers have already planned to mass-produce electric trucks whose autonomy will reach 400 to 500 kilometers by 2024. Finally, by 2035, trucks electric vehicles, whatever their segment, will be less expensive to use than a diesel truck.

End the sale of diesel trucks from 2035

This briefing therefore takes stock of the advantages of the electric truck and its technical and economic feasibility. It also assesses the other alternatives to diesel (natural gas, biomethane) which are not viable solutions for the decarbonisation of road freight transport. For T&E, it is possible and necessary to end the sale of diesel trucks by 2035, favoring the conversion of trucks now.

In France, the sector must define its decarbonization trajectory in line with the National Low Carbon Strategy (SNBC) and its objectives should be included in the Climate Energy Law (LPEC) expected for the second half of the year. In Europe, new CO2 standards for heavy goods vehicles are to be proposed by the Commission in the coming months. The 2023 political agenda therefore creates an unprecedented opportunity for the sector to engage in a fair and effective transition, commensurate with the climate challenge.

Read the briefing (in French).

By Marie Cheron, Vehicles Policy Manager, France. Originally published by Transport & Environment.

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Transport & Environment’s (T&E) vision is a zero-emission mobility system that is affordable and has minimal impacts on our health, climate and environment. Created over 30 years ago, we have shaped some of Europe’s most important environmental laws.


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