This would be facilitated by incentives such as lower motorway charges, reduced annual vehicle tax etc.
"Europe must now make the most of the solutions brought to market by Euro5 and Euro6 emission regulations by helping to encourage fleet renewal," said Harrie Schippers, CEO of Paccar subsidiary DAF Trucks and the present chairman of ACEA's Commercial Vehicle Board. "This would not only greatly and more quickly improve air quality, but would also stimulate the economy."
The introduction of Euro6, which is close to EPA2010, has been a major achievement for the commercial vehicle sector, with pollutant emissions being slashed to near-zero levels. Compared to Euro5 - which itself achieved a major reduction in emissions compared to Euro3 and 4 - NOx emissions have been reduced by a further 80% and particle mass emissions (including ultra fine particles) have fallen by a further 67%.
"This is certainly challenging in the context of the current market situation," said Schippers, "With trucking companies holding on to their trucks for much longer than before, the average age of the fleets is rising. The significant proportion of older, more polluting Euro 0, 1, 2 and 3 trucks on the roads is having a negative impact on the environment. But there is a huge potential to make a real difference."
In view of the strategy on CO2 emissions for heavy-duty vehicles to be announced by Climate Commissioner Hedegaard next year, Schippers also stressed the importance of building on the strong and natural force of customer demand. Fuel efficiency is a key element in the purchase decision, as fuel represents 30% of the running costs - almost as much as the cost of employing drivers.
"There has been a clear business case to minimize fuel consumption for decades, and the sector has been self-regulating with regard to CO2 emissions, as these are directly linked to fuel consumption," Schippers explained. "European policy makers must build on what Europe already has: a robust and highly competitive freight transport market. With the right framework, we can continue to work together to drive the economy and care for the environment."
The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) is the Brussels' (Belgium) based trade association of the 16 major cars and commercial vehicle producers in Europe. The ACEA commercial vehicle members are DAF Trucks, Daimler Trucks, IVECO, MAN Truck & Bus, Scania, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and the Volvo Group.