EU Cut on Heavy Vehicles: Are We Really Ready?

Recently, the European Union adopted strict new measures on CO2 emissions from heavy goods vehicles, sparking heated debate.

These measures include a 45% reduction in emissions by 2030, 65% by 2035, and 90% by 2040. However, the crucial question is: are we truly ready for this revolution in the transportation sector?

The Challenge of New Rules

The new European rules are designed to completely reinvent the way goods are transported. Currently, electric technology and other forms of alternative fuels are almost non-existent in the heavy vehicle sector. In Italy, only 72 electric trucks were registered in 2023 out of over 5 million circulating vehicles. This demonstrates that the transition to zero-emission vehicles is still far off.

The Contrast Between Noble Intentions and Practical Reality

While recognizing the importance of environmental sustainability, it is crucial to confront practical reality. Mercedes, for example, has withdrawn its initial intentions and stated that it will continue to produce internal combustion engines well beyond 2030, which shows that the automotive industry is aware of the challenges associated with the transition to electric vehicles. These challenges are even more evident in heavy vehicles: current batteries are too heavy, expensive and inefficient for vehicles that need to transport tons of goods.

Future Scenarios: What to Expect?

Predicting the future is always complicated, but we can imagine two main scenarios. In the first case, the European institutions could review their objectives, slowing down the timeframe and modifying the targets. This approach could implicitly acknowledge the initial overzealous approach. In the second scenario, the current limits will effectively be imposed, which could lead to confusion and major problems in the road transport sector.

The Solution: Express Transport with Vans

In this context of uncertainty and transition, express transport companies using vans could represent a more immediate and efficient solution. Compared with trucks, vans offer greater flexibility and will certainly be available soon in more advanced ‘carbon neutral’ versions. They are therefore an ideal choice for companies looking to reduce their emissions without having to face the unresolved challenges of heavy-duty electric vehicles.

The pros of vans and the electric future

  • Lower Emissions: Vans, although currently powered by traditional fuels as well, will be among the first vehicle categories to benefit from the transition to electric. This means companies using vans are in a prime position to quickly adapt to future environmental regulations.
  • Energy Efficiency: Vans offer excellent energy efficiency, with lower operating costs compared to traditional fossil-fuel vehicles. This advantage will become even more evident as battery technologies and charging infrastructures continue to improve.
  • Adaptability: Vans are more suitable for deliveries in urban and suburban areas, where distances are relatively short and infrastructures are more accessible. This makes them ideal for express transport, which requires flexibility and speed.

Adopting Current Technology for a Sustainable Future

For companies, adopting a strategy based on express, van transport represents a winning strategy to prepare for the future. Not only they do comply with ever-changing environmental regulations, but they also gain a competitive edge in terms of brand image and sustainability.

Conclusions

The transition to a more sustainable transport sector is inevitable and necessary. However, it is essential to approach it realistically and pragmatically. Companies using express van transport can represent a model of success, demonstrating that it is possible to change the world of transport without compromising operational efficiency. 2030 is just around the corner and preparing adequately today means being ready for tomorrow’s challenges.

EU CO2 Reduction Goals: A Chronicle

The European Union has a long history of commitment to reducing CO2 emissions and combating climate change. This path began in the 1990s, with the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, where the EU committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

2000s: Towards Ambitious Goals

In 2007, the EU adopted the 20-20-20 package, which aimed by 2020 to:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels.
  • Increase energy efficiency by 20%.
  • Achieve a 20% share of renewable energy in the energy mix.

Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal

The 2015 Paris Agreement marked a further step forward, with the EU committing to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. In 2019, the EU launched the European Green Deal, an ambitious strategy to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Specific Goals for Heavy Vehicles

In 2020, the EU introduced for the first time specific emission reduction targets for heavy-duty vehicles. These targets were further specified in 2023:

  • By 2030: 45% reduction in emissions.
  • By 2035: 65% reduction in emissions.
  • By 2040: 90% reduction in emissions.

 

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