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Climate Action

Reducing CO₂ emissions from heavy-duty vehicles

Lorries, buses and coaches are responsible for about a quarter of CO2 emissions from road transport in the EU and for some 6% of total EU emissions.

Despite some improvements in fuel consumption efficiency in recent years, these emissions are still rising, mainly due to increasing road freight traffic.

The first-ever EU-wide CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles, adopted in 2019, set targets for reducing the average emissions from new lorries for 2025 and 2030.

The Regulation (EU) 2019/1242 setting CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehiclesentered into force on 14 August 2019.

The Regulation also includes a mechanism to incentivise the uptake of zero- and low-emission vehicles, in a technology-neutral way.


The Regulation will:

  • contribute to the achievement of the EU's commitments under the Paris Agreement ,
  • reduce fuel consumption costs for transport operators – mostly Small and Medium Enterprises – and consumers,
  • help maintain the technological leadership of EU manufacturers and suppliers.

Expected benefits include:

  • Around 54 million tonnes of CO2 reduced in the period 2020 to 2030
  • Savings at the pump amounting to around €25 000 in the first 5 years of use for a new lorry bought in 2025 and up to about €55 000 in the first 5 years of use for a new lorry bought in 2030
  • Oil savings of up to 170 million tonnes of oil over the period 2020 to 2040
  • GDP increases resulting in the creation of jobs

Target levels

From 2025 on, manufacturers will have to meet the targets set for the fleet-wide average CO2 emissions of their new lorries registered in a given calendar year. Stricter targets will start applying from 2030 on.

The targets are expressed as a percentage reduction of emissions compared to EU average in the reference period (1 July 2019–30 June 2020):

  • from 2025 onwards: 15% reduction
  • from 2030 onwards: 30% reduction

The 2025 target can be achieved using technologies that are already available on the market. The 2030 target will be assessedin 2022 as part of the review of the Regulation.

As a first step, the CO2 emission standards will cover large lorries, which account for 65% to 70% of all CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles.

As part of the 2022 review, the Commission should assess the extension of the scope to other vehicle types such as smaller lorries, buses, coaches and trailers.

Incentive mechanism for zero- and low-emission vehicles (ZLEV)

The Regulation includes an incentive mechanism for

  • zero-emission vehicles (ZEV), lorries with no tailpipe CO2 emissions
  • low-emission vehicles (LEV), lorries with a technically permissible maximum laden mass of more than 16t, with CO2 emissions of less than half of the average CO2 emissions of all vehicles in its group registered in the 2019 reporting period.

To incentivise the uptake of ZLEV and reward early action, a super-credits system applies from 2019 until 2024, and can be used to comply with the target in 2025. A multiplier of 2 applies for ZEV, and a multiplier between 1 and 2 applies for LEV, depending on their CO2 emissions. An overall cap of 3% is set to preserve the environmental integrity of the system.

From 2025 onwards, the super-credits system is replaced by a benchmark-based crediting system, with a benchmark set at 2%. The 2030 benchmark level will have to be set in the context of the 2022 review.

As a result, the average specific CO2 emissions of a manufacturer are adjusted downwards if the share of ZLEV in its entire new heavy-duty vehicles fleet exceeds the 2% benchmark, out of which at least 0.75 percentage points have to be vehicles subject to the CO2 targets, i.e. the largest vehicles. Each percentage point of exceedance of the benchmark will decrease the manufacturer’s average specific CO2 emissions by one percent.

In both systems, ZEV not subject to the CO2 targets are accounted in the incentive mechanism. Buses and coaches are excluded from the scheme. The ZEV not subject to the CO2 targets can contribute to a maximum of 1.5% CO2 emissions reduction.

Cost-effective achievement of targets

The Regulation includes several elements to support cost-effective implementation:

  • Banking and borrowing to take account of long production cycles, including a reward for early action, while maintaining the environmental integrity of the targets.
  • Full flexibility for manufacturers to balance emissions between the different groups of vehicles within their portfolio.
  • Vocational vehicles , such as garbage trucks and construction vehicles, are exempted due to their limited potential for cost-efficient CO2 reduction.


The following measures will ensure the effectiveness and enforcement of the targets. They are based on the experience from cars and vans :

  • Assess the robustness and representativeness of the reference CO2 emissions as a basis for calculating the EU fleet-wide emissions targets.
  • Collect, publish and monitor real-world fuel consumption data reported by manufacturers, based on mandatory standardised fuel consumption meters
  • Introduce in-service conformity tests and mandate the reporting of deviations and the introduction of a correction mechanism
  • Apply financial penalties in case of non-compliance with the CO2 targets. The level of the penalties is set to 4,250 euro per gCO2/tkm in 2025 and 6,800 euro per gCO2/tkm in 2030.


The Commission shall review the effectiveness of the Regulation and report on this to the European Parliament and the Council by 2022.

This review shall cover i.a.

  • 2030 target and possible targets for 2035 and 2040;
  • inclusion of other types of heavy-duty vehicles, including buses, coaches, trailers, vocational vehicles and considerations of EMS (European modular system);
  • ZLEV incentive mechanism;
  • real world representativeness of the CO2 emission and energy consumption values;
  • role of synthetic and advanced alternative fuels produced with renewable energy;
  • possible introduction of a form of pooling;
  • level of the excess emission premium.

By 2023, the Commission shall evaluate the possibility of developing a common methodology for the assessment and reporting of the full life-cycle CO2 emissions of heavy-duty vehicles.

Monitoring and reporting of CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles

The following measures enable the implementation of the emission standards:

The monitoring and reporting Regulation requires that, as of 1 January 2019:

  • Member States monitor and report to the Commission information on the heavy-duty vehicles registered for the first time in the Union; and
  • lorry manufacturers monitor and report to the Commission CO2 emission and fuel consumption data as determined pursuant to the certification Regulation for each new vehicle produced for the EU market. This information will be calculated using the Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool (VECTO).

The collected data on CO2 emissions and fuel consumption together with other relevant technical information on the vehicles, including the aerodynamic drag, will be made publicly available by the European Environment Agency on behalf of the Commission, starting in 2021 to cover data monitored between 1 January 2019 and 30 June 2020.

The new system will complement the existing EU reporting system for cars and vans.

Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool (VECTO)

VECTO is a simulation software that can be used cost-efficiently and reliably to measure the CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of heavy-duty vehicles for specific loads, fuels and mission profiles (e.g. long haul, regional delivery, urban delivery, etc.), based on input data from relevant vehicle components.

The tool has been developed by the Commission in close cooperation with stakeholders.

More information on VECTO

Related policy measures

This legislation complements other policy measures such as the Certification Regulation, Monitoring and Reporting Regulation, EU type-approval system, Eurovignette Directive, Fuel Quality Directive, Clean Vehicles Directive, Directive on maximum authorised weights and dimensions and Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure.


CO2 emission targets for new heavy-duty vehicles

Monitoring and reporting of CO2 emissions from new heavy-duty vehicles


Commission strategy for reducing CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles