Prime Mover Magazine

Truck makers call for EU-wide introduction of high-capacity vehicles to reduce carbon emissions

As part of wider efforts to reduce carbon emissions from road transport, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is calling for a policy framework that supports a EU-wide high-capacity transport system.

This should, according to ACEA, allow for high-capacity vehicles – specifically designed to carry twice as much freight as standard trucks – to travel on dedicated parts of the EU road network.

A new ACEA report shows that three high-capacity vehicles can replace six regular trucks, reducing carbon emissions by up to 27 per cent.

The EU’s first-ever CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles were recently fixed for the years 2025 and 2030.

“Truck manufacturers are committed to doing their part to bring down emissions,” said ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. “However, these efficiency standards for new vehicles will not be enough to bring down total CO2 emissions from road transport.”

Demand for freight transport is expected to grow substantially in the decades to follow. High-capacity vehicles provide a cost-effective means of coping with this growing demand while keeping carbon emissions in check – without having to modify or extend Europe’s existing road infrastructure.

“In order to allow the benefits of high-capacity vehicles to be felt right across the entire EU, we urge policy makers to enable the introduction of a high-capacity transport system across borders,” said Jonnaert.

The ACEA also calls for harmonised requirements for such vehicles.

High-capacity vehicles in the form of European Modular System (EMS) combinations are already allowed in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, most German federal states, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. In these countries CO2 reductions have been confirmed in practice. Earlier concerns with respect to a possible modal shift from rail to road, wear and tear of roads and bridges, and safety have also shown to be unjustified.

The ACEA is a Brussels-based trade association of 15 major car, van, truck and bus manufacturers in Europe. Members include DAF Trucks, Daimler Trucks, IVECO, MAN Truck & Bus, Scania, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Volvo Group.

(Image: ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert.)

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