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Trucks - price more important than environment

The truck manufacturers are stepping up the pace in the changeover to alternative drive systems. They are much more ambitious than the politicians. They are now hoping for incentives from the government so that customers will actually follow suit.

By 2030, the EU requires truck manufacturers to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% compared to the period between mid-2019 and mid-2020. By 2025, it already demands a 15% reduction in emissions. If they do not achieve this reduction in total fleet emissions, it will be expensive.

But this is unlikely to interest the truck industry. The truck industry is much more ambitious with its targets. Daimler Truck, for example, wants to bring 40 to 60% CO2-neutral trucks onto the European market by 2030. The inaccuracy in this forecast results from the uncertain development of electricity and hydrogen prices. The expansion of the infrastructure would also have to develop optimally in order to be able to convert the fleet as far as possible.

But for success in the market, the truck builders now also need political support. For buyers of a new truck, it is usually not the environmental protection that is decisive, but the price. One can hardly blame an economically operating company for this. For buyers, a truck with an alternative drive system should simply be worthwhile. And this can only be achieved if battery- and hydrogen-powered trucks can keep up with diesel trucks in terms of price within a very short time. Politicians must therefore urgently create incentives and concessions, or raise the CO2 price and taxes on diesel vehicles accordingly.

Incidentally, the truck manufacturers Scania, MAN and Co. had already set themselves the goal of bringing only zero-emission trucks onto the market from 2040. However, they also demanded clear support from the EU regarding the expansion of the infrastructure as well as a stronger pricing of the emissions of dirty vehicles.

In view of the low emission zones, truck manufacturers must also quickly offer alternatives as promised. For many cities in the EU have already counted diesel vehicles out. In the Netherlands - at least vans - only purely electric vehicles will be allowed to enter the environmental zones from 2025. In Paris, diesel vehicles are to be banned completely one year earlier.

So it would be desirable for politicians not only to enact the local bans that are supposed to make the industry switch, but also to provide the support needed to make it a success. Especially since the truck builders are giving the green light to alternative drives and are positive about the new era of trucks.