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1.4.3 Strategy for Reducing Fuel Consumption and CO2 Emissions

Despite the existence of several technical solutions that improve the fuel efficiency of a Heavy Duty Vehicle (HDV), their market uptake is very slow. Even solutions that can be implemented at a net profit are often not adopted. Aarnink, Faber, and den Boer (2012) have identified a number of market barriers that hamper the implementation of such measures, including split incentives (i.e. the owner of a vehicle does not benefit from fuel savings when this is operated by a separate entity), limited access to finance and the practice of manufacturers offering fuel saving technologies as optional rather than standard features of a new vehicle. However, the most important barrier found was the lack of information on the fuel savings associated with individual technical measures. It appears that the freight transportation industry is more focused on operational improvements for fuel savings than on new technologies, which are perceived as more costly. This knowledge gap results from the fact that HDV CO2 emissions are not measured, certified and recorded when new vehicles are registered.

In May 2014, the EC issued its strategy to improve HDV performance and cut CO2 emissions through measures that address the knowledge gap and unlock a large part of the existing potential (EC, 2014b).

With the exception of transportation demand, which is linked to economic activity and lies outside the scope of the document, the proposed strategy is built around the other main drivers of HDV fuel consumption and CO2 emissions: modal split, fuel GHG intensity, vehicle energy efficiency and operation of HDV fleets.

In terms of modal split, the new TEN-T policy (refer to Sect. 1.3.2) aims to reverse the trend of increasing share of road transportation. The development of multimodal freight corridors enhanced by the e-freight initiative (refer to Sect. 1.2.2) is also expected to influence modal split.

The revised TEN-T guidelines are expected to have a positive impact in reducing the fuel GHG intensity, too, through the requirement for alternative fuel availability along the core network corridors for all modes, including road transportation. The Clean Power for Transport Initiative of Sect. 1.3.3 will further support this development. The proposed inclusion of a CO2 element in fuel taxation can further enhance the share (~6 % in 2010) of alternative fuels in the energy use of road transportation.

In the area of HDV fleet operation, the on-going review of road user charging legislation aims to take measures improving load factors, accelerating the renewal of fleets and creating conditions for greater co-modality (refer to Sect. 1.2.4 on internalization of external costs). The ITS Directory of Sect. 1.4.1 will further improve the efficiency of using the road infrastructure and vehicles, as well as the interfaces with other modes of transportation. The review of the remaining restrictions on road cabotage and the inclusion of eco-driving requirements in the truck drivers' examinations can also help make road transportation more efficient.

As for supporting the deployment of more energy efficient vehicles, the proposed revision of the maximum authorised dimensions of HDVs to improve their aerodynamics (refer to Sect. 1.4.2) is one of the measures foreseen. Others include the funding of research under the 'Green Car Initiative' and the 'Horizon 2020' programmes, as well as the EU legislation on the procurement of more environment friendly vehicles by public entities.

However, no standards have been set at EU level in relation to the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of HDVs. A prerequisite to address these issues is to measure and monitor them. This is exactly the focus of the short-term actions of the proposed strategy. Unlike the approach selected for the waterborne transportation (refer to Sect. 1.6.3), the actions foreseen for road transportation are:

• Completion of the VECTO simulation tool. The Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool (VECTO) is a simulation tool that is being developed by the EC in cooperation with industry stakeholders since 2009. It is used for measuring total vehicle emissions including emissions due to the vehicle's motor and transmission, aerodynamics, rolling resistance, and auxiliaries. The simulation approach has been selected for addressing the identified knowledge gap because CO2 testing on the basis of a testing cycle (as is the case with cars and vans) is not appropriate for HDVs due to the diversity of existing models and tasks.

• Legislative action for certifying and reporting CO2 emissions. The methodology for determining fuel consumption and CO2 emissions (VECTO calculations) needs to be included in the relevant type approval legislation.

On the basis of the findings of these short-term actions, medium-term policy options, including the setting of mandatory CO2 emission standards for newly registered HDVs would be considered in order to assist meeting the environmental targets of the EU transportation policy.

 
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