The European bus industry is undergoing a significant transformation towards sustainable mobility. To reduce CO2 emissions in the transport sector, the European Commission has proposed ambitious new emission targets for new heavy-duty vehicles from 2030. This proposal aims to ensure that trucks, city buses and long-distance buses contribute to the transition to zero-emission mobility and to the EU’s climate and zero-pollution targets.
According to statistics, trucks, city buses and long-distance buses are responsible for more than 6 per cent of the EU’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and more than 25 per cent of GHG emissions from road transport. Therefore, the introduction of new heavy-duty vehicles with stricter CO2 emission standards will contribute significantly to reducing the environmental impact of the transport sector.
New targets for CO2 emissions
The European Commission’s proposal envisages a gradual reduction of CO2 emissions for new heavy-duty vehicles with certified CO2 emissions. Compared to 2019 levels, the proposal aims for a 45 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030, 65 per cent by 2035 and 90 per cent by 2040. These ambitious targets will push the bus and truck industry to invest in innovative zero-emission technologies and promote energy efficiency in transport.
In particular, the European Commission has also proposed to make all new city buses zero-emission as of 2030. This measure aims to stimulate faster deployment of zero-emission buses in European cities, improving air quality and the health of Europeans.
Positive impact on energy transition
The adoption of new heavy-duty vehicles with reduced emissions will have a positive impact on the EU’s energy transition. By reducing demand for imported fossil fuels and improving energy efficiency in the transport sector, significant environmental benefits will be achieved. This will also help reduce fuel costs for European transport operators and ensure greater uptake of more energy-efficient vehicles.
Improved air quality and health
An increased adoption of zero-emission buses will have a significant impact on air quality, especially in cities. By reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants, it will contribute to a healthier environment for European citizens. The bus industry is playing a key role in tackling air pollution and promoting public health.
Supporting the European clean technology industry
The EU is a market leader in the production of trucks and buses, and the promotion of zero-emission vehicles will help support the European clean technology industry. A common legal framework provides a clear and long-term signal to investors, directing investment towards innovative zero-emission technologies and promoting the development of recharging and refuelling infrastructure. This will help to improve the international competitiveness of the European bus industry.
Investments in charging and refuelling infrastructure
In order to support the transition to zero-emission vehicles, it is necessary to channel investments into the recharging and refuelling infrastructure. The European Commission has already proposed a regulation on alternative fuels infrastructure, which aims to develop the necessary infrastructure for the green transition in the heavy-duty vehicle sector. This includes the installation of regular recharging and refuelling points along major motorways, with an interval of 60 kilometres for electric recharging and 150 kilometres for hydrogen refuelling.
The transformation of the European bus industry towards sustainable mobility is a priority for the EU. The European Commission’s proposal to introduce ambitious new CO2 emission targets for new heavy-duty vehicles will ensure that this industry contributes significantly to the transition to zero-emission mobility. This transition will have a positive impact on the energy transition, air quality and the health of Europeans, while fostering the development of the European clean technology industry. It is crucial that investments are channelled into the recharging and refuelling infrastructure to support this transition and ensure the success of this major evolution in the bus industry