Refrigerated vehicles could cost the EU almost €2 billion (£1.4bn), a year on health and the environment by 2025.
That’s according to a new report by cold energy firm, Dearman which stated “if nothing is done” it could cost EU countries €22 billion Euros over the next decade.
The report also stated one million transport refrigeration units in Europe have the equivalent impact on air pollution as up to 56 million diesel cars.
The cooling in these vehicles is often powered by an unregulated secondary diesel engine, which is inefficient and disproportionately polluting, it added.
Dearman claim they can emit up to 13 million tonnes of carbon emissions and 40,000 tonnes of Nitrogen Oxide.
Toby Peters, Chair in Power and Cold Economy, University of Birmingham and CEO of Dearman said: “Until now, nobody has given transport refrigeration units a thought. We all shop at food stores, eat in restaurants or have chilled and frozen food delivered but the impact of transport refrigeration units has never been investigated, let alone addressed.
“They are unregulated, use out-dated, fossil fuelled technology and are disproportionately polluting. What’s worse, their pollution is concentrated on city streets where it does the most damage to our health.”