CO2 emissions from lorries, buses and coaches (heavy-duty vehicles, HDVs) correspond to about one quarter of the EU’s road transport emissions. CO2 emissions from HDVs have increased over the last three decades. In 2019, the EU took action by introducing EU-wide emission performance requirements for new HDVs. Targets were set, requiring lorry manufacturers to reduce average emissions by 15 % by 2025 and 30 % by 2030. Data collected by the EEA are key to the implementation of these requirements. The first data, collected for 2019-2020, set a reference for future emission reductions.

What the data are telling us

  • CO2 emissions from HDVs have been increasing in recent years. Improving CO2 efficiency of new vehicles is one way to counter this trend.
  • The data collected by the EEA are used to calculate the performance of the EU vehicle fleet and that of different manufacturers. Specific CO2 emission averages of different manufacturers depend on fleet composition (i.e. size and type of vehicles), which should be considered when comparing performance.

What data is the EEA collecting?

For large lorries that are subject to emission performance requirements, this includes detailed technical data:

  • key information on each vehicle (e.g. model, mass, vehicle category)
  • details of key vehicle components (engine, tyres, transmission, etc.)
  • vehicle performance on different types of trips undertaken (e.g. long haul, urban delivery, with varied payloads), including fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

These detailed data are reported by vehicle manufacturers.

For all vehicles, both the large lorries and other types of HDVs (buses, trailers and smaller lorries), registration data are reported by Member State authorities. This includes key information about each vehicle, e.g. registration date, vehicle category and type, mass.

How are the data used?

The EEA performs quality checks on the reported data and compiles them to obtain a European data set. The data are used to calculate European CO2 emission performance averages. Currently, performance standards cover large lorries. These specify that manufacturers are to reduce average emissions of new vehicles by 15 % starting in 2025 and by 30 % starting in 2030. The reference emissions from which these reductions will be calculated are determined based on vehicles registered between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020.

Average emissions

Lorries are highly diverse in terms of their design, driving patterns, payload carried and distance travelled. To reflect this, vehicles are assigned to sub-groups based on their technical characteristics and typical use patterns.
Trucks typically used in urban settings emit more CO2 than their long-haul counterparts, measured per kilometre and tonne carried.
Long-haul lorries cover larger distances and carry a heavier load. To assess average emissions of a manufacturer’s HDV fleet, a weighting factor, based on assumed annual mileage and payload, is used.
Therefore, the performance of manufacturers’ new vehicle fleets depends on the size and type of vehicles they produce.
In the reference period (2019-2020), the average specific CO2 emissions of all new HDVs registered in the EU was 52.75 g/tkm (reflecting total lifetime emissions).

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for HDVs are determined using VECTO (Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool). This simulation tool was developed by the European Commission and since 1 January 2019 its use is obligatory for certain types of lorries under the Certification Regulation (EU) 2017/2400.

Since 2020, the data determined by VECTO (and the technical parameters) are reported to the EEA, according to the Monitoring and Reporting Regulation (EU) 2018/956.

The data are used to track progress towards targets established in the CO2 emission standards Regulation (EU) 2019/1242, in which 2019-2020 data form the reference period.