New EU Rule Aims to Boost Transparency of Truck MPG

May 16, 2017

By David Cullen

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Infographic lays out how EU’s Vecto computer simulation tool functions. Image: ACEA
Infographic lays out how EU’s Vecto computer simulation tool functions. Image: ACEA

A new European Union procedure for determining emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2 from new trucks has won praise from a key industry group for its expected positive impact on transparency.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association said it “welcomes [the procedure] as an important step to introduce more transparency to the market – ultimately leading to reduced fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions” from commercial vehicles.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) is the Brussels, Belgium-based trade association of the 15 major car, van, truck and bus producers in Europe. Its membership includes DAF Trucks, Daimler Trucks, Iveco, MAN Truck & Bus, Scania, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, and Volvo Group. 

The new regulation, approved in May by member states in the EU’s regulatory committee, will require CO2 emissions from new trucks to be calculated per “harmonized and certified procedures.” EAMA said the European Commission has developed a computer calculation tool, called Vecto, to model CO2 emissions from a wide variety of complete truck and trailer configurations using various heavy-duty vehicle cycles.

“Using Vecto data, the EU legislation on the calculation of CO2 from trucks will require a declaration of CO2 values for each vehicle produced for the EU market,” EAMA said in a statement. This will in turn provide “a credible, standardized way of comparing fuel efficiency across all brands.”

“This will be a major game-changer, as it will help transport operators choose the most fuel-efficient vehicle more easily, thereby significantly reducing CO2,” said ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert. “It will also lead to increased transparency and competition among manufacturers to develop the most fuel-efficient vehicles, driving the market uptake of the cleanest vehicles.”

Jonnaert pointed out that the EU market is diverse and complex, with “trucks usually tailor-made to customers’ specific orders or ... custom-built for a specific mission." Yet he said the Vecto tool “can reflect that complexity, as it takes the variables into account that affect CO2 emissions, such as various usage patterns, vehicle configurations or different payloads.

“In order to set the direction for future CO2 reduction policy, we need to have a clear understanding of the baseline,” he added.

On the other hand, ACEA noted that truck manufacturers have concerns about whether the proposed lead time between the “entry into force of the regulation and the start of the first step of the CO2 declaration, now tied to the date of vehicle registration rather than production, is sufficient to perform the necessary certification activities.”

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