The EU has published new provisional targets for lowering the carbon emissions of trucks and other heavy duty vehicles.

The figures are a road map towards the phasing out of diesel trucks by 2040.

Manufacturers will have to cut the average emissions of new trucks by 45% in 2030, 65% by 2035 and 90% by 2040. Trailer manufacturers will also need to improve the emissions performance of truck trailers by 10% by 2030. The CO2 target for buses is 90% by 2030, reaching 100% by 2035.

Heavy duty vehicles are the second biggest source of transport pollution after cars, and the European Commission first published its proposals to decarbonise trucks in February last year.

Lobby group Transport and Environment (T&E) estimates the EU targets will see zero emission vehicles accounting for around 30% of trucks sold in 2030, and 75% by 2040.

“The transition towards zero-emission trucks and buses is not only key to meeting our climate targets, but also a crucial driver for cleaner air in our cities”, said Bas Eickhout, Dutch MEP and Green Party leader in the European parliament. “We are providing clarity for one of the major manufacturing industries in Europe and a strong incentive to invest in electrification and hydrogen.”

Representatives of the freight industry have generally welcomed the targets, clearly hoping that truck manufacturers will be encouraged to ramp up their zero emission vehicle output.

The European Commission will review the effectiveness and impact of the new targets by 2027.