Last month, a technical committee of experts from the Commission and member states agreed a revision of existing rules that would allow devices such as ‘boat tails’ of no more than 50cm to be fitted to lorry trailers to reduce wind resistance and therefore use less fuel. If there are no objections by September – and none are expected – the new rules will come into effect later this year.
T&E policy officer William Todts said: ‘This is a win/win situation which will cut emissions and save hauliers money after a relatively short payback period on their investment. Given that three quarters of freight in Europe is transported by lorry, the emissions reduction could be significant, but it’s important not to get too carried away with this. Much more needs to be done to improve the fuel efficiency of lorries.’
Earlier this year T&E published a study containing a design for lorries that would be more fuel-efficient and safer. One of the main recommendations was an end to the blunt lorry cab that wastes millions of litres of fuel and costs hundreds of lives each year.