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Planet Ark World Environment News European Truckmakers Fear EU's Tough CO2 Curbs

Date: 08-Oct-10
Country: BELGIUM
Author: Marcin Grajewski

Producers of heavy trucks protested on Thursday at European Union plans to impose strict curbs on emissions of carbon dioxide from the vehicles, saying they were unrealistic and ill-designed.

The chiefs of Volvo, Fiat's unit Iveco and DAF said they had asked the European Commission and the European Parliament to redesign the planned law, warning them of chaos in an industry employing 250,000 people.

The 27-nation EU wants to cut emissions of CO2 by 20 percent from their 1990 level, by 2020, in its battle against global warming. Reducing pollution from heavy trucks is to be part of the plan, which the Commission is likely to propose next year.

The EU is debating plans to cut emissions from vans and light trucks to 175 grams of CO2 per km by 2016, and the CEOs fear a similar scheme might be imposed on heavy trucks.

"They result from perceptions that trucks are just big cars. This can push regulation in the wrong way," Volvo CEO Leif Johansson told reporters.

Iveco chief Paolo Monferino said: "Those numbers are scaring us. We don't have the technology to achieve them."

The truckmaking executives said the plan in its current shape would encourage companies to produce more lighter trucks and fewer large ones. As a result, there would be more vehicles on the roads, more congestion and more CO2 emissions.

A better measure would be counting CO2 in grammes per tonne of carried freight per km, Monferino said.

The truckmakers said they would carry on with plans to increase fuel efficiency in heavy trucks by 20 percent by 2020. They also reiterated the heavy truck industry is getting back on its feet after several disastrous years.

"We have endured the worst years in the history of our industry," Johansson said, adding sales fell by 80 percent in 2007. "But we are coming back."

(Editing by David Hulmes)

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