The European Council has reached agreement on a proposal to revise the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions regulations for heavy-duty vehicles. The amended proposal sets a target of 100% zero emissions for city buses by 2035, while setting an intermediate target of 85% for this category by 2030. Intercity buses were excluded from this target.
This decision stems from the proposal presented by the European Commission on 14 February 2023, which had initially set a deadline of 2030 for city buses. Although not part of the “Fit for 55” package, this proposal is closely related as it contributes to the EU's goal of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. In addition to the existing target of a 15% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2025, the new regulations set new targets: a 45% reduction in emissions by 2030, a 65% reduction in emissions by 2035 and a 90% reduction in emissions by 2040. Furthermore, the Council introduced a number of provisions to make the review clause more comprehensive.
This includes taking into account national investments already made and possible obstacles due to the specific geographical characteristics and weather conditions of the various Member States. Member States have also clarified the provisions for public procurement procedures for zero-emission city buses, with a focus on the criteria for assessing reliability of supply, to ensure a sound legal basis.