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ACEA releases position paper on CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles

19 February 2016

ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers Association) has released a position paper on Reducing CO2 Emissions from Heavy-duty Vehicles. According to ACEA estimates, an integrated approach—involving not only vehicle manufacturers but a number of other stakeholders—holds the potential to reduce CO2 emissions from heavy-duty road vehicles by 20% by 2020 compared to 2014.

The position paper states that market forces, as opposed to regulations, are the best way to ensure fuel consumption and CO2 emission reductions from the heavy-duty vehicle fleet. At the same time, ACEA expressed their support for the development of VECTO—the EU-funded standardized simulation tool to certify the fuel efficiency of heavy-duty vehicles.

The ACEA position paper supports the 2018 time frame to start mandatory heavy-duty truck CO2 certification, but also calls for at least 18-month lead time for the CO2 certification requirements after the regulation enters into force.

Fuel economy and CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles are currently not regulated. However, in 2014 the European Commission adopted a strategy to monitor CO2 emissions from trucks, buses and coaches. With the support of the VECTO simulation tool, the Commission intends to propose legislation that would require CO2 emissions from new heavy-duty vehicles to be certified, reported and monitored.

The ACEA position paper is based on a GHG reduction report by Transport & Mobility Leuven (TML), commissioned by ACEA. The report has been reviewed by a consortium of 16 road transport stakeholders.

The TML report estimates that by 2020, new vehicles and trailers will have the potential to be 15-17% more fuel efficient than they were in 2014, mostly due to improvements in engine, tire and aerodynamics technologies.

The new vehicle efficiency improvements would translate to only about 5% CO2 reduction from the existing heavy-duty vehicle fleet by 2020. However, a 20% emission reduction is possible through an integrated approach, including vehicle operation, biofuels, and road infrastructure measures, in addition to new vehicle technology. Over half of the potential overall improvement comes from more efficient vehicle usage, particularly from driver training. Driver training, low rolling resistance tires and aerodynamic improvements provide the best cost effectiveness among all measures.

Source: ACEA