A study commissioned by the International Council on Clean Transportation says using low-resistance tyres, aerodynamic devices and lower weights can improve the fuel efficiency of lorries by between 4% and 10%.
Lorry road trains as long as medium-sized aircraft could be permitted to travel throughout Europe, following an unprecedented reinterpretation of existing law by European Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas. Sustainable transport campaigners Transport & Environment say the change is undemocratic and undermines the Commissioner’s own key objectives for the transport sector of reducing emissions and boosting rail freight.
An afternoon conference for European policymakers to identify solutions to the environmental and safety impacts of road freight. The programme will examine technical solutions for smarter and safer lorries and map a way forward for EU legislators to encourage smarter road freight.
Brussels - Fuel tax havens such as Luxembourg and Spain may have to raise their low diesel taxes following a vote in the European Parliament in Strasbourg this afternoon on a proposal to revise the EU’s Energy Tax law. Commenting on the outcome of the vote, Magnus Nilsson, senior campaigner at T&E said: “This vote is good news for countries like Portugal, Belgium, France and Germany who currently lose billions in tax revenue as a result of lorries filling up in fuel tax havens such as Luxembourg and Spain. Lower diesel taxes are bad for the climate and force governments to find cash elsewhere, such as by raising job-killing labour taxes. ”
Plans by the European Commission to allow oversized lorries – known as ‘megatrucks’ – on Europe’s roads through a ‘reinterpretation’ of existing legislation without formal discussion have run into a roadblock.
The European Commissioner’s top transport official appeared to back away from plans to allow megatrucks to travel freely across European national borders at a stormy meeting yesterday afternoon of the European Parliament’s Transport Committee. Transport & Environment says the EU should scrap plans to boost longer and heavier lorries, and instead propose changes that would allow future lorries to be more aerodynamic and safer but without changing the length or weight of the load space.
The European Commission is considering a change in the interpretation of its legislation on so-called megatrucks. Under the new interpretation, the cross-border circulation of megatrucks, which is currently prohibited, would be allowed. This decision would have a negative impact on road safety and infrastructure and would drastically impact on the competitive position of the rail freight sector, without any benefits for the environment.
The Commission is taking steps towards a first EU directive aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heavy goods vehicles. Its consultation on the weight and dimensions of lorries comes as more evidence emerges about the positive effect of mandatory emissions standards from new cars.