Position paper – Reducing CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles

The heavy-duty vehicle sector is the backbone of efficient freight transport in Europe, with the sector contributing €550 billion in gross value added (GVA) to Europe’s economy in 2011. The industry creates a large share of Europe’s wealth and prosperity, while creating a relatively small share of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Heavy-duty vehicles account for roughly 5% of Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions. Given that they are responsible for transporting 75% of all land-based freight in Europe, their share of greenhouse gas emissions is relatively small. Driven by market forces, truck manufacturers have delivered a 60% reduction in fuel consumption since 1965.

Given that CO2 emissions are influenced by a variety of factors besides the vehicle alone, heavy-duty-vehicle manufacturers are working closely together with all relevant stakeholders in the transport sector to identify, and where possible leverage, all touch points which affect CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. This integrated approach holds the potential to cut 20% of CO2 emissions from road transport by 2020 compared to 2014.

Fuel efficiency is one of the most important competitive factors in developing and selling heavy-duty vehicles, such as trucks and buses. Considering the maturity and complexity of heavy duty vehicles with several thousand shapes and sizes, a simplified ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy is not the most suitable way to address CO2 emissions.

Combined with the integrated approach, ACEA supports the development of an EU-funded standardised simulation tool to certify the fuel efficiency of complete heavy-duty vehicles and vehicle combinations. This tool, called VECTO, will enable vehicle manufacturers, to calculate the specific CO2 emissions data for each individual bus or truck configuration. VECTO will empower customers to compare customised offers and choose the most fuel-efficient vehicle combination based on their specific needs.


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