Transport Committee pushes for “greener” trucks and buses 

Preasráiteas 
 
 

Roinn an leathanach seo: 

  • Additional loading capacity as incentive for zero-emission trucks and buses 
  • Single EU label to identify mega trucks and web portal to identify the roads they use 
  • More robust enforcement 

MEPs say zero-emission trucks and buses could be longer and heavier to reduce the number of trips they make and to help the climate transition.

On Wednesday, MEPs on the Transport and Tourism Committee adopted their position on the revision of road transport weights and dimensions rules - aimed at greening of freight transport - by 26 votes to 11 and one abstention. The proposed revision to the rules changes the weights and dimensions limits applied to trucks and buses involved in international road transport.


Incentives for “greener” trucks


MEPs want to increase the maximum weight and length of zero-emission trucks by four tonnes, to compensate the space and weight needed to fit battery or hydrogen cells, and to provide additional loading capacity. This update could, they argue, act as an incentive for the transport industry to switch to cleaner vehicles, as the additional loading capacity will make zero emission trucks and buses more competitive than their conventional alternatives. MEPs also say that the installation of zero-emission technologies should not be done at the expense of sufficient cabin space nor reduce driver comfort.


Mega trucks: EU label and road safety

Under certain conditions, EU countries can still allow the circulation of mega trucks, which are longer and heavier than the EU limits. In case member states want to add new roads on which mega trucks are allowed, they should make a prior assessment on the impact of this on road safety, infrastructure, modal cooperation and the environment.


To improve road safety and help road users identify mega trucks or other oversized vehicles, e.g. before overtaking, MEPs suggest the creation of an EU label on the length of such vehicles. In addition, the Commission should set up a web portal with information about the applicable weight and length limits in each EU country and which roads are designated for mega trucks.


Better enforcement


The committee also wants to see more robust enforcement of EU rules, suggesting EU countries set up automatic control systems along main EU roads to check if trucks and buses comply with weights and dimension limits. MEPs also want to see the use of digital enforcement tools, such as Intelligent Access Policy, which could ensure that the right vehicle with the right cargo, operates on the right road and at the right time, to secure a minimum impact on the environment, infrastructure, human health and safety.


Quote


EP rapporteur Isabel García Muñoz (S&D, ES) said: “Zero-emission vehicles must become the backbone of road transport if the sector is to reach its decarbonisation objectives. New rules will create real incentives for companies to switch to zero-emission trucks and to make road freight traffic more sustainable and safe. We want to make sure the same load can be transported with fewer vehicles, fewer trips and reduced emissions. We are also proposing the streamlining of the use of mega trucks with an assessment on their impact on road safety, infrastructure, modal cooperation and the environment."


Next steps


This draft position will now be voted on by all MEPs in a forthcoming plenary session, possibly in March. The file will be followed up by the new Parliament after the European elections on 6-9 June.


Background


This draft bill is part of a package of proposals for the greening of EU freight transport. Trucks and buses are responsible for 28% of road transport greenhouse gas emissions and 34% of road transport nitrogen oxide emissions.