As the European Parliament approved the revised version of EU Directive 96/53/EC, Dr. Kay Lindemann, Managing Director of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), commented as follows:
“The changes to vehicle lengths, which have now been passed, allow better aerodynamic designs and therefore offer the possibility of lower CO2 emissions. Truck trailers can be longer, and drivers’ cabs can be made more streamlined. Brussels is also allowing an increase of up to one tonne in the total weights of trucks and buses using alternative propulsion technologies and fuels.
“The commercial vehicle industry backs changes to the regulations governing dimensions and weights, which enable further savings in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. In order to implement new, consumption-reducing technologies in the vehicles, the manufacturers need additional space to install them and greater flexibility regarding vehicle dimensions to achieve the best aerodynamics. When new regulations are introduced, the long lifecycles of commercial vehicles have to be taken into account at the same time.
“Now practicable implementation is needed. It is crucial that Brussels makes sure the new developments feed into the type testing regulations.
“In the case of long trucks, Europe is unfortunately missing an opportunity to make road freight traffic more efficient. Eco trucks could contribute to additional fuel savings, also in cross-border transport. So far the field trial in Germany has shown that long trucks operate smoothly and safely in road traffic. The haulers report savings of up to 25 percent in fuel consumption. It is incomprehensible that this opportunity of even more environmentally friendly and more efficient road freight should also remain unused.”