EU enacts new rules for heavy duty vehicles to slash emission by 90%

The European Union (EU) adopted new legislation to strengthen emissions standards for trucks and buses operating in the EU. The legislation includes a requirement for a 90% reduction of CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles by 2040. The legislation was officially issued on May 13, 2024.

Let’s explore these new requirements in detail.

What are the new EU vehicle emission reduction targets?

Since the legislation was first proposed in February 2023, the emissions targets have changed. The new release of rules maintains the existing 2025 target currently set at a 15% emission reduction for heavy vehicles weighing over 16 tons.


The new regulation goes further by establishing the following new targets:


  • 45% emission reduction from 2030-34
  • 65% emission reduction from 2035-39 
  • 90% emission reduction from 2040 


From 2035 onwards, the above target will also apply to medium lorries weighing over 7.5 tons and to corresponding vocational vehicles. 


Compliance with the EU’s new heavy-duty vehicle emissions laws

To comply with the new legislation, truck and bus manufacturers need to invest in the electrification of their vehicles. However, manufacturers argue that while technology is available to decarbonize their vehicle fleets, this transition relies on enabling conditions like charging infrastructure and effective carbon pricing that are outside of their control. 

To avoid unfair non-compliance penalties on manufacturers in the absence of these enabling measures, EU member officials are establishing annual monitoring of this legislation and enforcement. 
What’s next for the EU’s heavy-duty vehicle emissions laws?

The new regulation will come into force 20 days after its publication. The commission is scheduled to review the effectiveness and impact of the amended regulation in 2027. Furthermore, the European Commission must evaluate the possibility of developing a common methodology for assessing and reporting full lifecycle CO2 emissions for trucks and buses.


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