In July 2023, the European Commission published the ‘Greening Freight Transport’ package, with the aim of making freight transport more sustainable. Trucks play a major role in EU road transport emissions. Although they only represent 2% of vehicles on the road, they account for nearly 30% of emissions. If the EU is to achieve its 2050 climate neutrality target, the EU truck fleet needs to be rapidly decarbonized.
Zero-emission trucks (ZEVs) can however be heavier and take more space than internal combustion vehicles (ICE). In 2019, they were therefore allowed to weigh 2 tonnes more in some use cases. While this was sufficient for urban and most regional delivery trucks, some ZEV designs for long-distance trucking require more weight, as they are fitted with heavier batteries. Within the package, the review of the Weights and Dimensions (W&D) Directive aims to grant this further weight increase to ZEVs. In this paper, T&E outlines how, by providing non-monetary incentives for zero-emission trucks and buses, the W&D Directive is critical to stimulate zero-emission vehicle demand and steer investments. The Directive further offers a – currently untabbed – opportunity to limit the growth of SUV and pick-up truck sales in the light-duty market segment.
Republished from Transport & Environment.
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