Last reviewed 10 September 2021

According to campaigning group Transport & Environment (T&E), testing in Barcelona and Madrid has revealed that nearly a third of trucks exceed the EU’s legal emission limits.

The T&E report concerns remote emissions measurements of Euro VI trucks above 3.5 tonnes in two of Spain’s largest cities over the course of three years and is available – here.

Anna Krajinska, emissions engineer at T&E, said: “New trucks driving in and around Europe’s cities still produce deadly levels of air pollution. The EU’s trucking standards are not doing enough to safeguard the air we breathe, putting the health of Europe’s citizens at risk.”

She went to say that official tests often fail to account for emissions produced under everyday driving conditions, such as low-speed driving and cold-starts (emissions from when the engine is first turned on). Euro VI testing also fails to ensure emissions durability which leads some models to emit more over time, nor does it prevent tampering where emissions reduction systems are switched off by defeat devices.

The EU’s truck carbon dioxide (CO2) standards are due to be reviewed in 2022 and T&E is urging the EU body to take the opportunity to set more ambitious targets and to end the sale of most internal combustion trucks by 2035.

“The European Commission must improve truck testing to cover all on-road driving conditions and introduce robust anti-tampering measures,” Ms Krajinska said, “but, in the end, what we really need is a shift away from polluting combustion engines towards truly clean, zero-emission trucks.”

The EU should therefore mandate that at least half of truck sales are zero emission by 2030, she concluded.