The European Union’s Transport Council has given its support to plans seeking to amend the rules governing truck weights and dimensions, in a move which has been welcomed by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).
ACEA said the revision of the Directive on the weights and dimensions of commercial vehicles will provide “a unique opportunity” to reduce truck CO2 emissions.
“Industry should have the flexibility to make use of revised rules to deliver even cleaner and more efficient trucks in the most cost-effective manner,” said ACEA secretary general, Erik Jonnaert.
“Allowing an extension of the current maximum length of vehicles and vehicle combinations, while complying with legal requirements, will enable the industry to incorporate both existing and future fuel-efficiency innovations into their designs,” he added.
The road transport industry has long advocated revising weights and dimensions rules to further increase truck efficiency. This includes using the most cost-effective solutions – such as permitting the wider use of the European Modular System (EMS), which improves fuel efficiency without negative safety impacts or increased road wear, and can be implemented quickly and at low cost.
However, ACEA said the introduction of new rules must take into account the time it will take truck manufacturers to implement the designs into a new generation of commercial vehicles – with the typical product life cycle for a new truck being 10-15 years.