Road transport

EU policies to achieve more sustainable road transport are shaped mainly by the European Green Deal and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility strategy[1]. The European Green Deal aims to achieve a 90% reduction in transport-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Specifically, the plan calls for a 55% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030.

EU efforts also include rigorous efforts to reduce average CO2 emissions from new vans and heavy-duty vehicles. EU policies also set milestones for road transport, such as at least 30 million zero-emission cars operating on European roads by 2030, and nearly all cars, vans, buses as well as new heavy-duty vehicles being zero-emission by 2050. Electrification of road transport and cleaner fuels[2] will play a key role in achieving climate neutrality in Europe by 2050.

Better efficiency of vehicles and biofuel use has partially offset emissions, but more cars and trucks are on the road -- and a small, but increasing, share of them are electric. The widespread uptake of electric vehicles in the coming years will depend on the development of charging infrastructure, and its sustainability will depend on how the electricity to charge the vehicles is produced. Also, as part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission proposed new Euro 7 standards for fuels[3], to reduce pollutant emissions from vehicles and improve air quality.

New testing procedures for passenger cars are also put in place to give a more accurate overview of vehicle emissions compared with the previously existing ones.

Achieving sustainability in road transport, however, requires going beyond efficiency gains, electric cars or cleaner fuels.

It requires a transformation of the entire mobility system[4], encompassing reframing the mobility need and how this need could be met through public transport, active mobility and cleaner modes.


  1. ^ Sustainable and Smart Mobility strategy (
  2. ^ cleaner fuels (
  3. ^ new Euro 7 standards for fuels (
  4. ^ mobility system (