Too many old and polluting trucks in Italy

The cases

According to a survey carried out by the UNRAE association on industrial heavy vehicles, trucks circulating in Italy are still too many old and polluting.

This is a very alarming fact, because too old vehicles circulating on the road have direct repercussions of pollution, in addition to the road safety

Specifically, the data - updated at the end of 2022 - show that out of a total of 725,000 medium and heavy vehicles (over 3.5 tonnes), more than half, i.e. 50.4%, are registered before 2006 and comply with emission standards before Euro 4, and therefore with high levels of pollution emissions and low safety standards. Another interesting finding of the research is that the average age of trucks circulating in Italy is 14.3 years, showing a slight increase compared to 2021. Instead, if we consider only the heaviest trucks (over 16 tons) the data show a percentage decrease: out of a total of 445,000 vehicles on the road, 39% are registered before Euro 4 and the average age is 12.1 years. Moreover, in 2022 the registrations of new commercial vehicles grew by 1.4%; in particular, heavy vehicles with mass greater than or equal to 16 tons increased by 4.1% compared to 2021. Trucks powered by diesel accounted for 96.2% of total registrations in 2022, and only 2.6% are powered by LNG and 1% by methane gas. 

It follows, therefore, these aspect all make it difficult to get the European Union targets regarding zero emissions and climate neutrality in the coming years.

What needs to be done is to introduce in Italy the incentives already existing in other countries (such as in France and Germany) and accelerate the process of replacement of the circulating fleet, removing from the road the older, polluting and dangerous vehicles, and replacing them with Euro 6 vehicles compatible with BioDiesel or BioLNG. However, these are solutions that require a few years to become effective.