In a study entitled "Easy Ride: why the EU truck CO2 targets are unfit for the 2020s," the climate group found that improvements in aerodynamics and fuel efficiency meant that truckmakers are able to meet the EU's 2025 CO2 targets while only having to make only a few zero-emission long-haul trucks.
The study also found that most truckmakers have already made voluntary commitments for electric vehicle sales that go beyond EU requirements.
"Truckmakers are clearly able to decarbonise quicker," T&E's acting freight director Lucien Mathieu said in a statement. "It's time to make them."
Under current EU rules, truckmakers have a voluntary target for zero-emission vehicles to make up 2% of sales from 2025 onwards. The EU is expected to revise that target.
Based on truckmaker's voluntary commitments, T&E estimates zero-emission trucks will make up 7% of sales in 2025 and 43% in 2030.
T&E said this shows the EU can set a realistic "but more ambitious" target that at least 30% of sales should be zero-emission trucks by 2028.
The study also found that Swedish truckmaker Scania, part of Volkswagen AG's commercial vehicle arm Traton SE, is a market leader: with CO2 emissions 5.3% lower below the average for the most common type of long-haul truck thanks largely to aerodynamics.
Renault and Iveco, the truck and bus business of Italian-American CNH Industrial, are both laggards, T&E said, with emissions 2.6% and 2.4% above the average respectively.
(Reporting by Nick Carey; Editing by Frances Kerry)
By Nick Carey