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The European Union’s CO2 legislation and what it means for the trucking industry

The European Union’s CO2 legislation and what it means for the trucking industry

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As of January of this year, all truck manufacturers must declare fuel consumption and carbon emissions on newly produced trucks sold in Europe. The new legislation will set ambitious emission targets on manufacturers that should lead to greater transparency, accountability and lowered fuel costs for haulage operators. It will also be a big push for the industry to adopt new technologies. Here is what you need to know.

Heavy-duty trucks account for roughly 5% of CO2 emissions in Europe. Under the CO2 legislation, all new trucks must have 15% lower CO2 emissions by 2025 compared with 2019, and by 2030 emissions must be at least 30% lower.

With this new legislation truck manufacturers have to submit CO2 and emission values determined by a simulation of engine performance, tyre rolling resistance, aerodynamic drag, efficiency of axles and transmission when driving on a standard European road. The data for each manufacturer is aggregated and submitted to authorities who calculate the values by equating each kilo of diesel to three kilos of carbon dioxide. This is then verified by on-road tests.

While simulations are a good indicator of each manufacturer’s track record, it is important to note that they do not reflect vital factors like driver’s skill level, driving conditions or the impact of technological innovations unique to each manufacturer. So the values declared should mainly be used as a guide when comparing different vehicles and you should still turn to your dealership for the solution that is right for your business.

Better transparency, more fuel efficient options

The transparency that the legislation will bring to the industry is good news for haulage operators as it will give better insight into how different factors, like aerodynamics and rolling resistance can impact fuel consumption and emissions. The declared values will also enable for manufacturers to specify trucks for even better fuel efficiency and for owners to choose the most suitable alternative for their business.

The new legislation will also put the focus on environmentally-friendly technologies and accelerate their development through healthy competition by offering manufacturers double benefits if 2% of their total new trucks sales are comprised of zero emission vehicles.

The dawn of the new legislation in Europe could mean that there has never been a better time to understand what impacts the fuel consumption and invest in a fuel efficient solution tailored for your business.  It could also be the perfect opportunity to switch to an entirely new driveline—electric or LNG (liquefied natural gas) for instance!

Before you decide on your next vehicle however, it’s important to understand the parameters that impact fuel consumption. I have put together a guide that outlines these parameters and how you can specify and drive your truck to maximize your fleet’s fuel efficiency. 

Download my guide now!

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