Is freight transport ready for stricter CO2 targets?

Is freight transport ready for stricter CO2 targets?

One of the world’s largest logistics service providers and operator of Europe’s largest land transport network, DB Schenker, has committed itself to stricter CO2 reduction targets for commercial vehicles over 7.5 tonnes.

“I believe that more can be done and more must be done,” said DB Schenker CEO Jochen Thewes, on the occasion of Deutsche Bahn’s ‘Green November’ initiative. “To encourage the forthcoming structural transformation in the automotive industry and the availability of alternative drive technologies in freight transport as well, I consider the ambitious CO2 reduction targets for commercial vehicles of 20% by 2025 and 35% by 2030 to be absolutely feasible.

Having joined the global climate initiative EV100, DB Schenker recently decided to gradually convert its own fleet of distribution vehicles to electromobility. The objective is to retrofit all vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes with electric drives or fuel cells by 2030. Half of all vehicles weighing between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes will also be electrically powered by then. Even today, DB Schenker already operates electric transport vehicles in Austria, Italy and Norway as well as electric cargo bikes in a dozen European cities.

Action is therefore required in particular with regard to trucks weighing over 7.5 tonnes: “Everyone must participate, including and especially the manufacturers. We need to make the long overdue technological leap in the imminent structural transformation in the automotive industry,” Mr Thewes said.

In addition, a pilot project in Germany together with MAN and Fresenius University is currently testing the efficiency of digitally controlled truck convoys, also known as platooning. Together with the Swedish start-up Einride, the world’s first electric and fully autonomous truck was recently put into commercial operation.

On 14 November the EU Parliament will vote on CO2 targets for freight transport. The decision will be based on a proposal by the European Commission to reduce CO2 emissions by 15 per cent by 2025 and 30 per cent by 2030. Earlier this year DB Schenker and other companies already advocated more ambitious CO2 targets for commercial vehicles of -20 per cent by 2025 and -35 per cent by 2030.

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