Zero-emission trucks require radical policy changes, says ACEA as new fleet data is released

Brussels, 6 December 2019 – On the occasion of the COP25 UN climate conference taking place this week, the CEOs of Europe’s truck makers re-confirm their full commitment to help make the transition to carbon-neutral and zero-emission freight transport.

Gathering today in Brussels for the Commercial Vehicle Board meeting of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), the industry chiefs stressed that this transition cannot happen without radical policy changes by the European Union and the governments of all member states.

Earlier this year, the EU adopted its first-ever CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles, which will apply in 2025 (-15%) and 2030 (-30%)1. These stringent CO2 targets oblige all manufacturers to focus on, and massively ramp up investments in, alternative powertrains. Indeed, a growing offer of low- and zero-emission trucks is already available today, and many more are in the pipeline for the near future.

“When we look at the total fleet of transport operators today, it is clear that the market will need to be completely turned around in an extremely short timeframe,” stressed Gerrit Marx, Chairman of ACEA’s Commercial Vehicle Board and President of CNH Industrial Commercial Vehicles and Speciality.

Brand new data released by ACEA shows that 98.3% of all heavy and medium trucks (above 3.5 tonnes) on Europe’s roads today run on diesel. Electrically-chargeable vehicles account for a negligible share of all trucks in circulation (0.01%, or one out of every 10,000 vehicles), and around 0.4% of all trucks in the EU run on natural gas.

“If we are to transform this startling picture and convince hauliers to make the switch to low- and zero-emission vehicles on a large-scale, Europe urgently needs to introduce a strong package of consistent and predictable policy measures,” Marx urged EU policy and decision makers.

This includes for instance the rapid roll-out of dedicated charging and refuelling infrastructure for trucks – which is completely absent today – and putting in place meaningful incentives to make these vehicles a commercially-viable and competitive choice for transport operators, thereby fostering fleet renewal.

The revision of the Eurovignette Directive should also allow for the differentiation of road user charges by CO2 emissions. “Member states in particular need to step up to the game in all these areas,” said Marx.

“Creating real market demand for low- and zero-emission vehicles should now be the priority. Binding sales quotas for manufacturers, on the other hand, would not do anything to encourage transport companies to purchase alternatively-powered trucks.”

Marx: “In order to create a business environment where carbon-neutral solutions are the preferred option, all stakeholders will have to work together to transform the entire value chain of transport.”

According to ACEA’s new report, ‘Vehicles in Use – Europe 2019’, there are 6.6 million trucks on the EU’s roads. With more than 1.1 million trucks, Poland has the largest truck fleet in the EU, followed closely by Germany and Italy. The report also shows that the EU truck fleet is ageing rapidly. Trucks are now on average 12.4 years old in the European Union, compared to 11.7 years in 2013.

Notes for editors

About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is the Brussels-based trade association of the 15 major car, van, truck and bus producers in Europe.
  • The ACEA commercial vehicle members are DAF Trucks, Daimler Truck, Ford Trucks, Iveco Group, MAN Truck & Bus, Scania, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, and Volvo Group.
  • Visit for more information about ACEA, and follow us on or
  • Contact: Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director,, +32 485 88 66 47.

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About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.9 million Europeans work in the automotive sector
  • 8.3% of all manufacturing jobs in the EU
  • €392.2 billion in tax revenue for European governments
  • €101.9 billion trade surplus for the European Union
  • Over 7% of EU GDP generated by the auto industry
  • €59.1 billion in R&D spending annually, 31% of EU total
Content type Press release
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