Transport is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. The need to decarbonise this sector is undeniable. The European Union’s decarbonisation objectives set a target of a 30% reduction in heavy-duty vehicle emissions by 2030, with an even more ambitious target of a 90% reduction by 2040.
Reducing emissions from heavy-duty vehicles plays a key role in achieving these targets, as heavy-duty vehicles tend to have significantly higher emissions compared to light-duty vehicles. To achieve these targets and accelerate the transition to more sustainable transport, the following key points are to be addressed:
The first critical area is the market. While vehicle purchase aid programmes, such as MITMA MOVES, have been implemented, it is essential to improve their focus and implementation. This includes prioritising the rapid delivery of support and eliminating costs. In 2022, just 0.7% of commercial vehicles registered in Spain were electrified, and in the case of buses, only 6% of electric sales were achieved. It is clear that significant changes are needed to boost the uptake of low-emission vehicles.
➤ Electric charging infrastructures
The second crucial area is the development of high-power electric charging and refuelling infrastructures. This will greatly facilitate the uptake of electric and alternative vehicles.
The third key area is taxation. Measures to be implemented can include: corporate tax deductions for the purchase of low emission heavy duty vehicles, depreciation improvements and exemptions from the special electricity tax for vehicle recharging. These measures are essential to ensure an effective energy transition in the transport sector.
➤ Connection and automation
The fourth area is automation. It is essential to enable heavy-duty vehicles with fully automated driving functions. In addition, it is essential to ensure user privacy and to establish a common framework for the description of vehicle data.
➤Regulation and industrial policy
At both European and Spanish level, satisfactory compromises will have to be reached on the regulation of CO2 emissions from heavy duty vehicles and the proposed Euro 7 emission standards. These regulations are crucial to encourage the uptake of low emission vehicles.
Commercial and industrial vehicle manufacturers in Spain are directly affected by the transformation of mobility and the need to compete internationally. Fiscal incentives for research and development (R&D&I) are essential, and measures to offset rising energy costs in industry, such as the automotive sector, should be explored.
➤ Mobility model
Finally, it needs to be adapted to the needs of the sector, with a balanced and homogeneous approach across the territory. Low Emission Zones are essential to reduce emissions in urban areas, but common bases and criteria are needed for their implementation.
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