Transport News Brief reports that Europe’s truck and bus manufacturers support the introduction of legislation making carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions certification from individual vehicle types part of the European Type Approval Scheme.
But they are urging legislators to take proper account of “a more integrated approach” offering the potential for far greater reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the entire road-freight and passenger transport sectors. This is the central message from a 16 February Brussels conference on “Reducing CO2 from road transport together”, organised by ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association).
A new ACEA position paper on CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles was presented at the conference. It stresses that fuel efficiency is already an important factor in the development and sale of trucks and buses. The almost endless variety of truck and bus specifications, including countless shapes and sizes, meant that any “one-size-fits-all” policy on cutting CO2 emissions would not work.
ACEA supports European Commission plans for CO2 emissions from trucks and buses to be “certified, reported and monitored”, using the VECTO (Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool) computer program developed by Austria’s Graz University of Technology under contract to the European Commission.
Legislation making truck and bus CO2 emissions declarations mandatory is expected to come into force in 2018. Given the 18-month lead-time needed for initial VECTO data input and verification, this means that the process needs to be finalised by the end of this year. Long-haul trucks and urban delivery vehicles are first on the list, to be followed later by buses and coaches. ACEA supports this schedule. But the association points to a 2014 study by a respected Belgian research company, Transport & Mobility Leuven, to underscore the potential for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from European road transport by 20% between 2014 and 2020.
Martin Lundstedt, ACEA Commercial Vehicle Board Chairman, said, “Based on the findings, we are advocating a far more ambitious vision that will look at the big picture.
“Firstly, because new vehicles represent such a small fraction of the fleet, we want to look at the entire vehicle fleet, rather than just new vehicles.
“Secondly, there are many more factors than just the vehicle alone that determine CO2 emissions – such as permitted vehicle length and weight, trailer designs, alternative fuels, driver behaviour, optimised transport operations, infrastructure and more. We believe that the integrated approach is the right way forward – and the only way to reduce the CO2 emissions of the transport industry in Europe on a large scale.”