2021 marked the world of European road freight transport with a promise for the future. It is the “Fit for 55” Green Deal presented in summer 2021 by the European Commission. The aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
The implications for road freight transport are manifold. Several European trade federations, including France’s FNTR, warn of the risk of weakening a sector that has proved its strategic nature during the pandemic. “It is clear that double and triple taxation of the same CO2 emissions through different instruments such as the Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), the Eurovignette Directive and the Energy Taxation Directive must be avoided. Road transport companies are more than willing to turn to climate-neutral technologies as soon as they are available at competitive prices and accompanied by the appropriate green infrastructure”, says a joint statement by the FNTR and its counterparts in Germany and the Nordic countries.
Many actors have already taken action in this regard. Total Energies and Daimler Truck AG signed an agreement in November 2021 to decarbonise road freight transport in the European Union. The partners want to develop dedicated ecosystems for hydrogen-powered trucks. The aim is to demonstrate the attractiveness and efficiency of green hydrogen-powered trucks and to play a leading role in the launch and deployment of hydrogen infrastructure for transport. The development of electric road transport was also in focus at Solutrans, France’s leading trade fair for industrial and urban vehicles. All manufacturers presented electric models.
Changes in the energy map due to tensions in Eastern Europe are likely to accelerate this trend towards a greener transport. Industry players (and even public opinion) understand and accept more readily that they have to pay a higher price for a cleaner world, a safer world and a more energy independent world.
We at ROUTIER anticipated this trend ever since 2017 and have also started to invest in cleaner alternatives. We operate a full train between Romania and Germany, significantly reducing our carbon footprint.
We are thinking one step ahead and have strategies on the table to be among the pioneers of this trend.