European Parliament chooses low emission truck sales quota system

In an attempt to meet its promises under the Paris Accord, the EU Parliament has announced proposals to cut CO2 emissions in vehicles by 20% by 2025 and 35% by 2030 through a sales quota system.

MEPs voted to set a benchmark system that would include a ‘malus’ to penalise manufacturers who do not sell a mandatory quota of zero- and low-emissions trucks.

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (EMEA) has expressed alarm and described the targets as “excessively aggressive”.

“These targets go over and above the proposal made by the European Commission last May, which was already very challenging,” said Erik Jonnaert, ACEA secretary general.

The EMEA has indicated that the 2025 target would force truck manufacturers to fit new technologies that are already being developed in R&D labs at present. Jonnaert said: “The R&D and production processes of the European truck industry would be negatively affected by these targets, for which the short lead time simply doesn’t match the long development cycles for trucks.”

The association did welcome the idea of ‘super-credits’ being offered to companies buying zero-emissions and low-emissions trucks, that was proposed by the European Commission. Instead however the European Parliament chose a more punitive, quota based system not unlike that which is being done in China.

Jonnaert said: “MEPs seem to be blatantly ignoring the fact that the potential for electrifying the truck fleet is far lower than for cars, due to issues such as extremely high upfront costs, range limitations, insufficient infrastructure – particularly along motorways – as well as reluctant customers.”