CLEPA | Balancing ambition and reality in the Mobility Transition: Enabling conditions crucial for success

The adoption of the proposed revision of the CO2 standards for heavy duty vehicles (HDVs) opens one of the last high profile public debates for the auto industry in this legislative period. The Commission calls a target of zero emissions at the tailpipe of city buses as of 2030. Trucks need to achieve a 90% CO2 reduction in 2040, with a significantly more ambitious trajectory over the 2030 and 2035 milestones than the current rules.

in CLEPA, by Benjamin Krieger, 23-02-2023

Together with flexibility in the definition of a zero-emission vehicle this makes a signal for technology diversity which is welcome. Electrification and hydrogen in fuel cells and the hydrogen engine will play an important role in the climate neutral mobility and transport of the future, but we need a realistic path to achieve it.

The very ambitious intermediate targets set in 2030 (45%) and 2035 (65%) represent a potential bottleneck that could harm and slow down the pace of the transition, if not supported by a reduction of technology costs and substantial policies that provide the needed infrastructure and encourage vehicle purchase. For the same reasons, the 2030 objectives fixed just four years ago were already uncertain. Achieving a sufficient level of zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) penetration in time is a significant challenge.

No single energy carrier and technology fits all user’s needs and use-cases. If sustainable renewable fuels would be considered for compliance in the CO? Regulation for HDVs, Europe could immediately accelerate the decarbonisation of the commercial transport sector including the existing fleet and provide flexibility to companies which need more time to invest in zero emission technology. However, the regulation does not give any impulse for the deployment of renewable fuels.

Putting all this pressure on the industry without all the necessary enabling conditions in place, transition risks missing its objectives and being detrimental to the competitiveness of the European companies. We will not succeed in the transition with ambitious targets alone, we need equal ambition on the rollout of a dense network of charging and refuelling points, availability of renewable fuels, hydrogen, and electricity, raw materials, and affordable vehicles.


Benjamin Krieger

CLEPA Secretary General



CLEPA | CO2 standards for HDVs: Intermediate targets require massive deployment of charging and refuelling infrastructure

  • The 2030 and 2035 targets set by the Commission are extremely ambitious
  • The 2040 target allows for tech diversity, but enabling conditions remain uncertain

in CLEPA, 14-02-2023

The European Commission has today published its revision of the CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs), proposing extremely ambitious intermediate targets in 2030 (45%) and in 2035 (65%). Although the proposal allows for technology diversity, with a 90% target in 2040, enabling conditions remain a major concern.

CLEPA Secretary General, Benjamin Krieger, states: “To decarbonise logistics, the EU needs affordable, climate-neutral solutions. We appreciate maintaining technology diversity by not setting a phase-out mandate, however, the increase in 2030 and 2035 targets is very challenging. Only four years ago the 2030 target was set, which was already ambitious, and this target should be fixed.”

The fulfilment of the conditions for the penetration of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) needed to meet the existing 30% reduction target in 2030 is already uncertain, as it requires both accelerated reduction of technology costs and substantial policies that support infrastructure and encourage vehicle purchase.

CLEPA urges policymakers not to increase the 2030 target and consider a reasonable trajectory towards 2035. For the transition to succeed, we cannot rely on setting targets alone. Enabling conditions like charging and refuelling infrastructure as well as renewable electricity, hydrogen and fuels, must be secured. Afterall, commercial road transport is a B2B market driven by demand, which encompasses a broad range of use-cases and operator needs, demanding a wide array of affordable clean technology options.

The proposal also neglects to include a comprehensive approach to measuring the actual carbon footprint of a vehicle, focusing solely on tailpipe emissions. CLEPA advocates for an LCA approach, starting with well-to-wheel as a first step. Europe risks lagging behind other regions if it does not undertake the work of developing a harmonised standard for Europe.

CLEPA appreciates that the proposal includes a review clause in 2028, which will be of utmost importance to gauge progress on enabling conditions, and other external factors such as affordable and renewable energy availability.

Find out more

CLEPA Position Paper on CO2 Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles



AFIA visits its Associate EPALFER

AFIA, represented by the Secretary-General, visited EPALFER and was welcomed by the Managers, Eduardo Oliveira and Paulo Henriques, and by Sales & Business Development, Alexandre Mateus.

in AFIA, 08-02-2023

EPALFER – Engineering & Tooling started its activity in 2002 and since then has been dedicated to the design and manufacture of Progressive & Transfer tools for the automotive industry as well as prototypes and pre-series in Metal for various sectors (automotive, railway, renewable energy).

Between 2015 and 2021 EPALFER invested more than 8 million euros in the modernization and acquisition of equipment, and in 2022/2023 it invested 3 million euros in a new pavilion and equipment for the manufacture of prototypes and pre-series in metal.

“Supported by the best software and production equipment, our team makes our customers more competitive by presenting part and assembly design solutions, optimizing material consumption and increasing production rates, thus obtaining a metal component with the best quality and lowest price”, commented the Manager Eduardo Oliveira.

In recent years, EPALFER’s export rate has been around 80%, with a large part of what it incorporates coming from Portugal or Europe.

EPALFER continues to walk its path under the motto “A Passion for Sheet Metal Forming” and is committed to decarbonization for sustainable growth, having installed 1500 photovoltaic panels.

EPALFER is headquartered in Águeda and is certified by the ISO 9001:2015 standard.

For more information, consult the EPALFER website at: