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EU Approves Law to Reduce CO2 Emissions from Trucks

The regulation on CO2 emission levels for heavy-duty vehicles was formally accepted by the Council, which strengthened and amended the current EU regulations. With the introduction of new objectives for 2030, 2035, and 2040, the amended regulations will significantly cut CO2 emissions from road transportation. 

Broader scope

Nearly all new heavy-duty vehicles with certified CO2 emissions, including smaller trucks, urban buses, coaches, and trailers, will be subject to emission reduction objectives under the updated regulations.

New emission reduction targets

The new regulations uphold the current 2025 objective, which calls for heavy trucks weighing more than 16 tons to reduce emissions by 15%. Consistent with the European Union’s climate objectives through 2030 and beyond, the legislation furthermore sets the subsequent new targets:

  • 45% (up from 30%) decrease in emissions by 2030
  •  90% drop in emissions from 2040 and 
  • 65% drop from 2035

Medium-sized trucks, heavy trucks exceeding 7.5 tons in weight, coaches, and matching vocational vehicles will all be subject to these requirements starting in 2035.

Zero-emission target for urban buses

The revised regulations set an intermediate goal of 90% zero emissions for this category by 2030 and a 100% zero emission objective for new urban buses by 2035. Since interurban buses will be counted as coaches for calculating emissions reduction, they will not be held accountable for meeting this objective.

Next steps

The EU’s Official Journal will now have the signature and publication of the legislation. It will go into effect twenty days following publication.

The Commission will assess the impact and efficacy of the revised rule in 2027. 

The Commission will have to consider the prospect of creating a standard approach for the evaluation and reporting of new heavy-duty vehicles’ complete lifetime CO2 emissions, among other things.


In the European Union, the road transport sector accounts for more than 25% of the greenhouse gas emissions produced by heavy-duty vehicles. In 2019, CO2 emission requirements for certain heavy-duty vehicles were first established. The objectives were set for 2025 to 2029 and for 2030 onwards, and a review of the law was scheduled for 2022.

The Commission filed a proposal on February 14, 2023, to amend the CO2 emission guidelines for heavy-duty vehicles. A key component of the Fit for 55 legislation package is this modification. The amended regulations help the EU reach its goals of becoming climate neutral by 2050 and cutting its net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 when compared to 1990 levels.