EBA laments “missed opportunity” for EU heavy-duty vehicle regulation

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On 9 February, the Committee of the Permanent Representatives of the Governments of the Member States to the European Union (COREPER) adopted the political agreement on CO2 emission performance standards for new heavy-duty vehicles (Regulation EU 2019/1242).
The European Biogas Association (EBA) has called this a missed opportunity to provide the sector with a methodology able to account for the contribution of renewable fuels, such as biomethane, in the decarbonisation of the segment.
Despite the emergence of climate mitigation policies, EU road transport emissions increased over the last decades, and are projected to decrease below the targets set by the Regulation, according to the EBA.
Even with 50% sales of battery electric heavy-duty vehicles (BEV HDVs) in 2030, about 90% of the rolling fleet will use an internal combustion engine (ICE) powertrain.
It is thus of paramount importance that this fleet is allowed to run on renewable fuels to drastically reduce their emissions, added the association.
It added that a Carbon Correction Factor (CCF) and a CO2 Neutral Fuels methodology are straightforward solutions supported by the industry to allow for the fast decarbonisation of road transport embracing all renewable vectors, including biomethane, and offering more security against market disruption, over-reliance on third countries, consumer cost increases and employment risks.
The final agreement does not provide for the right drivers to decarbonise the heavy-duty segment rapidly and cost-efficiently: while the biogas and biomethane industry is asked to significantly scale-up its production, the agreement closes the door to biomethane use in the segment, said the EBA.
Indeed, road transport is not only one of the most important end-uses for biomethane at present, but it is also vital to the scaleup and uptake of this sustainable energy in hard to abate sectors, including maritime and aviation, continued the organisation.
Following consultation with stakeholders, the Commission will, within a year from entry into force of this regulation, assess the role of a methodology for registering HDV exclusively running on CO2 neutral fuels, in conformity with Union law and with Union climate neutrality objective.
Giulia Laura Cancian, EBA secretary general said: “The biomethane sector is a solid and readily available solution to swiftly curb transport emissions. Unfortunately, the current agreement does not recognise the great contribution of this sustainable vector. Nevertheless, EBA looks forward to contributing to the assessment of the role of a CCF and of methodology for registering HDVs exclusively running on CO2 neutral fuels.”

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