Thursday, May 9, 2019

Truck Makers Say High Capacity Road Haulage Vehicles Can Reduce Carbon Emissions

Larger Freight Units Can Substantially Cut Pollutants
Shipping News Feature
EUROPE – As part of wider efforts to reduce CO2 emissions from road haulage, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) is calling for a policy framework that supports an EU-wide high-capacity transport system, suggesting that introducing vehicles of 32 metres length will lead to a decrease of emissions by up to an estimated 27%.

Increasing the capacity of trucks is of course nothing new, we already have ‘road trains’ and supercube trailers and the industry claims that high-capacity vehicles are more efficient and productive than regular heavy-goods vehicles as they can consolidate freight from smaller trucks, thereby consuming less fuel and producing less emissions per unit of cargo transported, particularly over long distances.

According to a new paper by the ACEA, experience from countries already using high-capacity vehicles shows positive results, and CO2 reductions have been confirmed in practice. In the European Union, high-capacity vehicles in the form of European Modular System (EMS) combinations are already allowed and used in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, most German federal states, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

In the report, the ACEA says it shows how three high-capacity vehicles can replace up to six regular trucks, ultimately reducing CO2 emissions by up to 27%. The EU’s first-ever CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles were recently fixed for the years 2025 and 2030. ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert, said:

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

Demand for freight transport is expected to grow substantially over the coming decades. High-capacity vehicles, when used on suitable road haulage operations, can 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.