The European Commission released yesterday (21 May) a strategy to reduce the CO2 exhaust from lorries, which are responsible for around one quarter of road transport emissions.
While CO2 emissions from cars and vans have fallen over the past few decades, they have remained stagnant for heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs).
The EU strategy focuses on measurement and reporting mechanisms for HDV emissions, including a long-awaited computer simulation tool, VECTO, which is still in its pilot phase.
The strategy is expected to lead to regulatory proposals next year requiring CO2 emissions from new HDVs to be reported and monitored.
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) said the measures could improve information for people purchasing HDVs.
“Fuel efficiency is a top priority for the transport companies who buy and use trucks and buses, because fuel accounts for over one-third of their total operating costs,” said Erik Jonnaert, ACEA’s secretary general.
Lorries account for some 6% of total EU CO2 emissions, after they rose by some 36% between 1990 and 2010.
Environmental campaigners greeted the strategy as a first step towards reducing CO2 emissions from lorries but called for specific fuel economy standards, particularly for HDVs used for long-haul transportation, which account for the largest emissions share.
“Fuel economy standards are already delivering lower fuel bills for car and van drivers,” said Will Todts, senior policy officer at Transport and Environment.
The International Road Transport Union welcomed the strategy but only if it resulted in real fuel efficiency gains for lorries. The measurement tool "will only be beneficial to transport operators if it leads to actual operational efficiency increases and a reduction in fuel consumption on the road", said Michael Nielsen of the IRU.
- 2015: Possible EU regulatory proposals on the reporting and monitoring of CO2 emissions from new heavy-duty vehicles
- Press release: Climate action: Commission sets out strategy to curb CO2emissions from trucks, buses and coaches (21 May 2014) FR | DE
- Memo: Questions and Answers on the Commission strategy for reducing Heavy-Duty Vehicles' (HDVs) fuel consumption and CO2 emissions (21 May 2014)