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emission reductions

by giving more options within the regulation on CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles

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New CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles.
Enabling climate friendly logistics while keeping supply chains intact.

  • 73%
    of all goods in the EU transported by land
  • 27%
    of EU road transport CO2 Emissions
  • 66%
    of stakeholders are in favour of considering renewable fuels

Moving towards a lifecycle approach

The current CO₂ emission standards for new vehicles do not consider renewable fuels. The EU legal framework for reducing CO₂ emissions in road transport splits the responsibility along the supply chain.

Compare the lifecycle emissions
of heavy-duty vehicles and buses

A Carbon Correction Factor (CCF) to account for CO2 savings provided by renewable fuels

  • The current Tank-to-Wheel approach fails to distinguish between the renewable and fossil origin of the fuels and represents an outdated way of comparing different vehicle technologies.
  • A carbon correction factor would take into consideration the share of renewable fuel in the fuel mix for different fuel types in a reference year. Such an option would reduce the CO2 emission targets for truck manufacturers by the amount of renewable fuels already included in the current fuel mix. 
  • This would take into account that, in addition to technological and efficiency improvements by manufacturers, the fuel mix is decisive for how much CO2 a truck emits.

A Crediting System to offset the carbon footprint with additional amounts of renewable fuels

  • Under a voluntary crediting system for renewable fuels, fuel suppliers would receive credits for supplying renewable fuels in addition to existing fuels, which are accounted to the Renewable Energy Directive. Vehicle manufacturers can buy these credits and include them in their fleet target in the CO2 emission standards.
  • This voluntary scheme provides a new option for truck manufacturers to meet the targets by bringing additional quantities of renewable fuels to the market.
  • When selling a new vehicle, the lifetime CO2 emissions of the truck would immediately be compensated by bringing the equivalent amount of renewable fuels into the fuel mix. Bringing the CO2 reduction forward by several years.

Why include renewable fuels
in the new CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles

Enabling climate friendly logistics while keeping supply chains intact

of all goods
transported by land in the EU, making them the backbone of trade and commerce on the European continent.
of EU road transport CO2 Emissions
5% of total CO2 emissions in the EU – more than air and maritime transport combined
CO2 reduction
minimum CO2 reduction which renewable fuels need to reach according to the Renewable Energy Directive
of all stakeholders are in favour
of taking renewable fuels into account, according to a public consultation conducted by the EU Commission

What needs to be done now

Including renewable fuels in the CO2 emission standards can provide a greater choice of climate neutral and socially just mobility options that doesn’t overburden the European citizens and businesses, keeps the supply chain intact and leads to a more comprehensive climate policy along the lifecycle of vehicles.

Road Transport

Road transport is one of the biggest CO2 emitters in the EU, accounting for one fifth of CO2 emissions. Heavy duty vehicles and busses make up for almost 30 % of all road transport emissions. CO2 emission standards play a significant role in meeting the 2030 climate targets and climate neutrality by 2050. The enormous potential of climate protection solutions, such as biofuels as well as hydrogen and its derivative products, which include eFuels, can strengthen defossilisation efforts in Europe.

Lifecycle Approach

The current regulation only considers GHGs emitted from the tailpipe and ignores emissions that occur in other stages, such as production or operating power. But the entire lifecycle of a truck matters for climate protection.

If investments of the automotive industry lead to additional amounts of renewable fuels in the European market, these efforts should also be considered in CO2 emission standards.

More choices
fewer emissions

The current regulation on CO2 emission standards for trucks does not take renewable fuels into account. Currently, only the electric drivetrain and hydrogen fuel cells are considered a climate-friendly option – customers have no choice since other available technologies are excluded.

The EU’s electricity mix is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels, which contradicts the goal of reducing emissions in the transport sector. A combustion engine powered by renewable, sustainable fuels is as clean as an electric vehicle powered by green electricity. The compromise on the CO2 emission standards for cars on the inclusion of CO2-neutral fuels is an important beginning - now the truck regulation has to follow.

Technology Openness

Especially in light of the EU climate goals of reaching climate neutrality by 2050, a wide range of technologies should be allowed to contribute to emission reduction. A consideration of renewable fuels in the CO2 emission standards would be a first step to a more holistic and socially acceptable climate approach in transport. This can be reached by implementing a Carbon Correction Factor or a voluntary crediting system for renewable fuels, which can also be combined.

Debunking: Why the negative impacts of
including renewable fuels are negligible

The negative effects identified by the EU Commission in its impact assessment are the following:

Renewable and low-carbon fuels in road transport will come at the expense of other sectors facing steeper challenges to decarbonise (e.g. aviation/maritime)

The statement is to a large extent questionable. On the contrary, considering renewable fuels in the road transport would foster further investments and volume production of such fuels, thus creating economies of scale, which would be eventually beneficial for hard to decarbonize transport sectors such as aviation and maritime.

A carbon correction factor would introduce “double counting”

The carbon correction factor would not introduce double counting, but simply pave the way to a level-playing field in a regulation which is based on tailpipe emissions and does not distinguish between the origin of the fuel.

Conventional trucks with renewable fuels are not an economically viable option

If this is the case, demand for battery-electric and hydrogen-fuelled trucks would automatically not decrease and the logistic company would not decide for a conventional truck. As long as all options are available, the market will decide which option is more suitable.

Including renewable fuels would delay the uptake of battery-electric and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles

Battery-electric and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles are still being developed and produced by many truck manufacturers (OEMs). Including renewable fuels does not limit their uptake, but simply gives customers and affected companies the flexibility to choose the truck which fits them best for their specific needs. E.g. a logistics company in the Netherlands would maybe still opt for a battery-electric truck as there is sufficient charging infrastructure available, while a logistics company with routes from Bulgaria to Germany might choose a diesel or LNG truck which can be fuelled by renewable fuels. In both cases, climate-friendly options should be made available.

Such a system will no longer ensure clear responsibilities and accountability for vehicle manufacturers and fuel suppliers

We strongly reject this hypothesis. OEMs remain responsible for fleet targets and efficiency improvements connected to the powertrain system, fuel suppliers remain responsible for fuel GHG reduction targets and for renewable fuels volume targets in transport, as set in the RED. Each sector would still have to fulfill their own obligations – just a bridge between those regulations is built. Regulations in the transport and fuel sectors have to grow together to achieve the best solution for the whole lifecycle.

A carbon correction factor leads to less strict CO2 fleet targets and a negative environmental impact

The contrary is true: While battery-electric and hydrogen-fuelled trucks are only zero-emission vehicles on paper and their real GHG emissions depend on the share of renewable energy, renewable fuels are obliged to their real GHG reduction compared to fossil fuels. Including renewable fuels would thus reduce more GHG reduction than battery-electric and hydrogen-fuelled trucks, which are only zero-emission vehicles on paper.

Broad support for renewable fuels from industry and science

Over 120 associations and companies and over 90 scientists have spoken out in favour of including renewable fuels in the CO2 emission standards for trucks.

further information

Support from Scientists

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uwe Adler (Erfurt, Germany)
Edgar Ahn, PhD (Graz, Austria)
Jonas Ammenberg, PhD (Linköping, Sweden)
Prof. Dr. José Guilherme Coelho Baêta (Belo Horizonte, Brazil)
Dr. R.J.M. Bastiaans (Eindhoven, Netherlands)
Dr.-Ing. Bernhard Bäuerle (Stuttgart, Germany)
Prof. Dr. Pål Börjesson (Lund, Sweden)
Prof. Dr.techn. Christian Beidl (Darmstadt, Germany)
Dr.-Ing. Benjamin Böhm (Darmstadt, Germany)
Dr. Aleš Bulc (Leipzig, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Butsch (Constance, Germany)
Prof. Ulrich Bruhnke (Lustenau, Austria)
Prof. Dr. Matthias Brunner (Saarbrücken, Germany)
Prof. David Chiaramonti (Torino, Italy)
Dr. Klaus Dieterich (Stuttgart, Germany)
Prof. Dr. Friedrich Dinkelacker (Hannover, Germany)
Prof. Dr. habil. Andreas Dreizler (Darmstadt, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Eberhard R. Drechsel (Munich, Germany)
Prof. Dr. Alexander Eisenkopf (Friedrichshafen, Germany)
Prof. Mats Eklund (Linköping, Sweden)
Prof. Alessio Frassoldati (Milano, Italy)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Gänsicke (Wolfsburg, Germany)
Dr.-Ing. Claus-Eric Gärtner (Munich, Germany)
Prof. Dr. techn. Dipl.-Ing. Bernhard Geringer (Vienna, Austria)
Bernhard Gerster (Basel, Switzerland)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Jörn Getzlaff (Zwickau, Germany)
Prof. Dr. Hartmut Gnuschke (Coburg, Germany)
Dr. Armin Günther (Frankfurt am Main, Germany)
Marcus Gustafsson (Linköping, Sweden)
Prof. Ernst-M. Hackbarth (Munich, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karl-Ludwig Haken (Esslingen, Germany)
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Kay-Rüdiger Harms (Wolfsburg, Germany)
Prof. Dr. Stefan Hausberger (Graz, Austria)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Heidrich (Kaiserslautern, Germany)
Dr. Paul Hellier (London, United Kingdom)
Dr. Jose Martin Herreros (Birmingham, United Kingdom)
Prof. Dr. Dr. Gerhard Hettich (Stuttgart, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karl Alexander Heufer (Aachen, Germany)
Dr. Axel Ingendoh (Odenthal, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Rolf Isermann (Darmstadt, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Jakob (Coburg, Germany)
Jean-Marc Jossart (Brussels, Belgium)
Prof. Sanghoon Kook (Sydney, Australia)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. André Casal Kulzer (Stuttgart, Germany)
Prof. Dr. Thomas Lauer (Vienna, Austria)
Dr. Felix Leach (Oxford, United Kingdom)
Prof. Francisco Lemos (Lisbon, Portugal)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Atzler (Dresden, Germany)
Dr. Klaus Lucka (Aachen, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Lichte (Wolfsburg, Germany)
Prof. Ing. Jan Macek, DrSc., FEng (Prague, Czech Republic)
Philippe Marchand (Paris, France)
Prof. Dr. Ralph Mayer (Chemnitz, Germany)
Gustav Melin (Stockholm, Sweden)
Paul Miles (California, USA)
Prof. Yasuo Moriyoshi (Chiba, Japan)
Dr. Martin Müller (Hamburg, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Axel Munack (Braunschweig, Germany)
Prof. J.A. Jeroen van Oijen (Eindhoven, Netherlands)
Prof. Dr. Ralf Peters (Aachen, Germany)
Prof. Dr. Peter E. Pfeffer (Munich, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heinz Pitsch (Aachen, Germany)
Prof. Jacobo Porteiro (Vigo, Spain)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ralph Pütz (Landshut, Germany)
Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h.c. F. J. Radermacher (Ulm, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Reinhard Rauch (Karlsruhe, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hermann Rottengruber (Magdeburg, Germany)
Prof. Christine Rouselle (Orleans, France)
Alarik Sandrup (Stockholm, Sweden)
Dr. habil. Martin Schiemann (Bochum, Germany)
Prof. a.D. Dipl.- Ing. Peter Schmid (Esslingen, Germany)
Carl-Wilhelm Schultz-Naumann (Munich, Germany)
Dr. Irene Schwier (Hamburg, Germany)
Prof. Dr.–Ing. Helmut Seifert (Ludwigshafen, Germany)
Dr. Kelly Senecal (Wisconsin, USA)
Prof. Seong-Young Lee, PhD (Michigan, USA)
Prof. Dr. Anika Sievers (Hamburg, Germany)
Dipl.-Chem. Anja Singer (Coburg, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Werner Sitzmann (Hamburg, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Stank (Hamburg, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Sterner (Regensburg, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rüdiger C. Tiemann (Saarbrücken, Germany)
Prof. Athanasios Tsolakis (Birmingham, United Kingdom)
Prof. Sebastian Verhelst (Ghent, Belgium)
Dr.-Ing. Jörn Viell (Aachen, Germany)
Oldřich Vítek (Prague, Czech Republic)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Watter (Flensburg, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Willner (Hamburg, Germany)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Karsten Wittek (Heilbronn, Germany)
Dr. Yuri Martin Wright (Zurich, Switzerland)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kai Wundram (Braunschweig, Germany)
Prof. Hua Zhao (London, United Kingdom)
Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Lars Zigan (Munich, Germany)

Additional supporters

Tobias Block, Berlin
Marlene Hermfisse, Hamburg
Benjamin Krieger, Brussels
Medhat Safadi , Dreieich
Benjamin Fröhlich, Winterthur
Marine Teixidor, Brussels
Bernard Turi, Milan
Santiago Mullin, Montevideo
Matthias Rebernik, Graz
Howard Jackson, Ashford
Lars Hummel, Berlin
Richard Osborne, Shoreham-by-Sea
Lena Friedmann, Rohrbach
Xavier Liao, Brussels
Federico Millo, Torino
Ramesh Maharana, Bangalore,India
Dina Genzink, Laar
Stephan Schwarzer , Vienna
Vincenzo Ficarella, Bari
Yannick Rouaud, Voiron
Tatiana Demeusy , Offenburg
Alana, Paratico
Polish LNG and bioLNG Platform, Warsaw
Pawel Węcłowski, Gdansk
Paul Burgers, Ulvenhout
Georg Wagner, Vienna
Patrik Soltic, Empa Dübendorf
Bernhard Wüest, Zürich
YinHsiu Liu, Amsterdam
Gema Martín, Madrid
Massimo Portioli, Modena
Julio Yer, Madrid
diego lopez, barcelona
Joachim Demuynck, Gent, Belgium
Roel Castelein, Brussel
Latvian Biofuel and Bioenergy Association, Ventspils, Latvia
Markus König , Stuttgart
X-Tech R&P SA, Lugano, Switzerland
Josep Martin, Barcelona
Mattias Goldmann, STOCKHOLM
Xuan Ponchon, Saint Gilles
Daša Mamrillová, Bratislava
Davide Rubini, London
Grzegorz Sobański, Słupsk
Leonidas Kanonis, Brussels
Ingo Reiff, Viersen
METHEOR, Lyon-France
Michael Just, Stuttgart
Andreas Höchst, Tamm
Benedikt Zimmermann, Stuttgart
Christian Nikolai, Rheurdt
Moritz Dhom, Gablingen
Hanno Goffin, Ratingen
Konstantinos Kalogritsas, Glyka Nera, Athens
Jens Kabelitz, Germany
Paolo Colombo, Cabiate
Moritz Heitmann, Mölln

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Initiative Partner


Battery Electric Vehicle
Carbon Correction Factor
European Effort Sharing Regulation
European Emission Trading System
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle
Fuel Quality Directive
Greenhouse Gas
Heavy Duty Vehicle
Hybrid Electric Vehicle
Internal Combustion Engine
Life-Cycle Assessment
Low-carbon Fuels
Light Duty Vehicle
Low-Emission Vehicle
Liquefied Natural Gas
Natural Gas Vehicle
Original Equipment Manufacturer
Passenger Car
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
Renewable Energy Directive
Total Costs of Ownership
Tank to Wheel
Used Cooking Oil
Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure
Well to Tank
Well to Wheel
Zero-emission Vehicle