Zero-emission trucks: Three factors to set the framework right

In this video, ACEA Commercial Vehicles Director, Thomas Fabian, reviews some of the key conditions to support the rapid deployment of #ZeroEmissionTrucks on European roads.

While zero-emission vehicles are ready for the market and coming in large numbers, we need to set the framework right to ensure that transport operators will fully embrace this shift.

Commercial vehicles are used by professional transport operators as tools. As such, running them has to be commercially viable and a profitable business. No operator will invest in zero-emissions vehicles if they cannot recharge or refuel them.

The first battery-electric trucks will depend on depot charging, and will have to be regularly recharged at the home base. For the real breakthrough – for zero-emission trucks to really take off in long-haul operations – we need a dense network of publicly-accessible charging and refuelling stations.

It is estimated that already by 2027, the top 10% most utilised truck stop locations in Europe should be equipped with charging points and a suitable number of hydrogen refuelling stations, and by 2030 we need a fully operational network.

The risk today is that the infrastructure will in fact be a bottleneck that significantly slows down the market uptake of zero-emission trucks. Policy makers, especially member states, now need to agree on setting binding and ambitious targets for the infrastructure roll-out.

“We need a policy framework that helps and encourages transport operators invest in the new vehicles,” stated Mr Fabian. “One that systematically disincentivises the use of fossil fuels and effectively incentivises the operation of zero-emission vehicles.”

Some of the necessary measures are available already, such as the Eurovignette which member states should implement now to support the market uptake of zero-emission trucks. Parliament and Council still need to agree on others, such as a well-balanced carbon pricing system that includes road transport.

Fabian: “If we set the framework right, remove the bottlenecks and put strong support measures in place that push and pull everyone in transport and logistics to embrace and invest in the new vehicles, heavy-duty road transport will swiftly transition and reach climate-neutrality by 2050 at the latest.”

We need to set the framework right to ensure that transport operators will fully embrace the shift to #ZeroEmissionTrucks.
Content type Video
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