Zero-emission truck ambitions gain momentum – European commitment to 100% zero-emission truck sales by 2040 grows | 5.18.22

Nations share progress, workshop solutions to speed zero-emission truck & bus segment at International Transport Forum   

LEIPZIG, Germany – Global efforts to advance zero-emission transport are gaining momentum, particularly in Europe. Today at the International Transport Forum 2022 Summit (ITF) Portugal announced it will sign the landmark Global Memorandum of Understanding (Global MOU) on Zero-Emission Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles (ZE-MHDVs) – an agreement to reach 100% zero-emission new truck and bus sales by 2040. Portugal joins 15 other nations – many European – in the MOU.

“Portugal was one of the first countries in the world to commit to carbon neutrality by 2050. All efforts are required to achieve this ambitious target and transport is still responsible for 25.8% of emissions. But we need to accelerate decarbonization. One path to reach this purpose is by signing the MOU on zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. This way we can encourage the manufacturers and operators to develop zero emission solutions. Furthermore, we also urge other nations to join us in this effort,” said Jorge Delgado, Secretary of State for Urban Mobility of Portugal.

Top transport ministers from around the world are meeting this week at the ITF 2022 Summit with the aim of tackling the most pressing challenges currently facing the transport sector. Chief among these challenges is the transition to zero-emission trucks, which is being addressed at a high-level event today led by the Netherlands and CALSTART’s Global Commercial Drive to ZeroTM program and campaign.  

Nations who recognize the urgency of curbing emissions from the transport sector and the promise of zero-emission trucks are today working collaboratively to cut our emissions through zero-emission trucks. For a sustainable future, clean air and new, green jobs,” said Vivianne Heijnen, Minister for the Environment of the Netherlands. “We welcome Portugal to our Global MOU and urge other nations to join us.”  

“Freight trucks represent less than five percent of the global on-road fleet but contribute to over 30% of on-road fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions,“ said Dr. Cristiano Façanha, Global Director for CALSTART and lead of its Drive to Zero program and campaign. “Today, zero-emission technologies for trucks are ready for most applications, and zero-emission trucks will achieve cost parity with diesel trucks before 2030 for the vast majority of truck segments. Governments need to recognize the reality of the technology and the effectiveness of zero-emission trucks (ZETs) as a climate solution. Growing our commitment to ZETs means growing our commitment to the climate crisis.” 

Featured speakers and messages (both video and in-person) include Heijnen, the Netherlands’ Minister for the Environment; Richard Corey, Executive Officer for the California Air Resources Board in the United States; Jorge Delgado, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Urban Mobility; Andreas Follér, Global Head of Sustainability for Scania; and Ulf Schulte, Managing Director DACH of Allego.

“California has set the most ambitious goals for zero-emission trucks and buses in the United States, and is also providing the regulations and incentives we need to achieve them. Our commitment in word and deed sends a very strong signal that California is – and will definitely remain – a secure market for manufacturers and investors engaged in commercializing zero-emission transportation technologies. This also achieves our equity goals, since accelerated electrification of medium and heavy duty transportation will benefit the communities hardest hit from the diesel and other pollution spewed by these trucks and other forms of freight transport that still burn petroleum,” said Corey.

This is the first time many of these nations are meeting collectively since COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, where the Netherlands and Drive to Zero co-led the formation and announcement of the Global MOU. Under the updated agreement, 16 countries will now work together toward 100% zero-emission new truck and bus sales by 2040. They will also set an interim goal of 30% zero-emission new vehicle sales by 2030. In a coordinated effort, subnational governments – like California, Québec (Canada), and Telengana (India) – as well as top manufacturers and fleets like Scania, DHL, and Heineken are endorsing the MOU and agreeing to work collaboratively toward the same 2030 and 2040 goals. Since launching at COP26, over 40 leading organizations have endorsed the MOU.

“Many manufacturers want to see a clear and ambitious market signal on zero-emission trucks from the countries who are the global leaders in transport. An ambitious commitment through the Global MOU would give those manufacturers who are now on the fence a nudge forward to fully embrace zero-emission transport technology,” said Andreas Follér, Global Head of Sustainability, Scania CV.   

Deepening the Global MOU signatory’s commitment to cutting emissions from transport, New Zealand just issued an Emissions Reduction Plan, outlining CO2 budgets, targets, and actions across all sectors of the economy out to 2025, 2030, and 2035. The Plan includes a target to reduce emissions from freight transport by 35% by 2035 – consistent with the ambitions of the Global MOU.

Tomorrow, the Netherlands and Drive to Zero will hold an interactive working session side event at ITF focused on how to accelerate the uptake of zero-emission trucks (register here to participate, May 19 at 1630 – 1800 CET at Hall 5, Leipziger Messe, ITF Summit). The working session will focus on how to achieve ambitious targets for zero-emission trucks. Participants will break into small groups to identify challenges and solutions for manufacturing, fleets/demand, infrastructure, policy/regulations and incentives. 

Since announcing the Global MOU at COP26, the signatory nations have been coordinating actions and information sharing through a series of meetings and events including two high-level educational “thematic deep dive” meetings organized by CALSTART’s Drive to Zero and the Netherlands. At the first meeting participants focused on the current and upcoming technology readiness and economics of different zero-emission truck and bus technologies. The second interactive meeting focused on infrastructure. Nations heard presentations and panel discussions and were given the opportunity to interact with experts from Scania, the United States Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the California Energy Commission, the government of the Netherlands, Siemens, Iberdrola, the International Transport Forum (ITF), The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), Geotab, Transport & Environment, Southern California Edison, and Eindhoven University of Technology. 

For more information about the Global MOU visit the Drive to Zero website.

CALSTART | Changing transportation for good

A national nonprofit consortium with offices in New York, Michigan, Colorado and California, CALSTART partners with nearly 300 member companies and agency innovators to build a prosperous, efficient and clean high-tech transportation industry. We knock out barriers to modernization and the adoption of clean vehicles. CALSTART is changing transportation for good.

To align government and industry actions and ambition, CALSTART’s Drive to Zero program and campaign aims to enable and accelerate the growth of global zero-emission commercial vehicles, and enjoys the support of 130+ manufacturers, fleets, governments, and infrastructure providers. 

Drive to Zero contact: Roxanna Smith,, +1.510.326.0390

Netherlands contact: Joris Schouten,, +31 6 46251005