Paper – High capacity transport

High-capacity vehicles are more efficient and productive than regular heavy-goods vehicles as they can consolidate freight from smaller trucks, consuming less fuel and producing less emissions per unit of cargo transported. They are a cost-effective solution to reduce emissions from road freight, also making more efficient use of existing infrastructure.

According to this new paper, 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 are already allowed and used in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, most German federal states, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

In order to allow for the introduction of high-capacity vehicles (HCVs) across the entire European Union, policy makers should ensure that:

  1. The restrictive interpretations of EU legislation regarding cross-border use of EMS combinations are abandoned.
  2. The European Commission applies harmonised EU requirements for HCVs.
  3. Future EU regulations on HCT are based on PBS for both vehicles and road infrastructure. In addition, it should be considered to use EU-funded research projects to address this.
  4. The wider introduction of EMS combinations is supported by promoting trials, pilot programmes and research.
  5. The revision of the 2011 white paper on transport policy is used as an opportunity to facilitate the introduction of a High Capacity Transport system in the EU.


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