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Towards a strategy to address CO2 emissions from Heavy-Duty Vehicles

Heavy-Duty Vehicles (HDV) represent about a quarter of EU road transport CO2 emissions and some 6% of the total EU emissions. In spite of some improvements in fuel consumption efficiency in recent years, HDV emissions are still rising, mainly due to increasing road freight traffic. A comprehensive strategy to address HDV emissions (from both freight and passenger transport) is therefore essential.


HDV second source of CO2 emissions in transport

Energy efficiency and decarbonising transport have been at the heart of the EU's plans for sustainable and smart growth and transition to a resource efficient economy.

A number of international and national policies have thus been put in place in recent years to ensure that overall greenhouse gas emissions from particular sectors of the economy across the EU will decline.

However, estimates indicate that heavy duty vehicles are the second-biggest source of emissions within the transport sector, i.e. larger than both international aviation and shipping. As a result, the need for a strategy addressing CO2 emissions from this sector has been recognised by the Commission in its 2010 Strategy on Clean and Energy Efficient Vehicles.

Steps to addressing CO2 emissions from HDV

With the Roadmap for moving to a low-carbon economy in 2050, the EU sets out its plan to meet the long-term target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in different sectors by 2050.

Moreover, the Commission's White Paper on Transport 2011 describes a pathway to increase the sustainability of the transport system with technological innovation, enabling the transition to a more efficient and sustainable European transport system.

As part of the EU's future strategy to address HDV fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, a number of actions can be considered that will result in:

  • improved vehicle efficiency through new engines, materials and design,
  • cleaner energy use through new fuels and propulsion systems,
  • better use of networks and more efficient fleet operation, with the support of information and communication systems.

As a first step towards this strategy, a number of studies have been commissioned, including a methodology for CO2 emission measurement for HDV, taking into account not only the engine but the whole system –engine, truck, driving resistance, aerodynamic- and measuring all relevant contributions of CO2.

One of these studies deals with the potential impact of Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems on light commercial vehicles and heavy-duty vehicles' fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. It has been contracted to TNO consultants and will be carried out over January-May 2013. In this context, a questionnaire has been prepared for vehicle manufacturers Choose translations of the previous link  , TPMS manufacturers Choose translations of the previous link  and tyre manufacturers Choose translations of the previous link  who are kindly asked to send it back to TNO by 15 March 2013.