Last week I was in Munich for the so-called LKW-Gipfel; a summit of Europe’s truck industry executives. The Gipfel had an impressive line up. But before the CEOs of MAN, IVECO, Volvo and Scania delivered their keynotes, Matthias Wissmann, the German automotive industry’s (VDA) chief lobbyist, was given the stage.
Efforts to position electrofuels as the great hope to decarbonise road transport received a blow with findings that the synthetic fuel is neither an efficient or a cost-effective solution for cars and trucks.
The days of time-based charges for heavy-goods vehicles may be numbered after it emerged that two more EU member countries are close to introducing distance-based charging schemes for heavy goods vehicles. The Netherlands and Bulgaria plan to introduce distance-based charging, and the timing could be important for the future of truck charging in Europe.
A report by two respected climate scientists says the EU’s plans for natural gas as an energy source are incompatible with its commitment to the 2015 Paris climate accord. The report’s authors say Europe has just nine years left to burn fossil fuels at the current rate if global temperatures are to stay below a 2°C increase.
Electrofuels are neither an efficient or a cost-effective solution to decarbonise road transport, a new independent study has found. The study, conducted by consultancy Cerulogy for NGO Transport & Environment (T&E), concludes that e-fuels could supply a limited amount of aviation's growing energy needs but only if the electricity comes from new renewable sources with strict sustainability criteria. T&E said the EU must ensure only e-fuels produced from renewables, such as wind and solar, can be eligible under the advanced fuels target and that it should adopt measures to avoid double counting of renewable electricity under the Renewable Energy Directive.
MEPs have called for standards of 'direct vision' – attuned to different truck types – to be proposed by the European Commission when it overhauls vehicle safety rules early next year. Direct vision standards will set out the area surrounding a truck cab the driver must be able to see without using mirrors or cameras, thus improving safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
The EU’s first-ever regulation on measuring CO2 emissions from trucks must be tightened to provide greater transparency, say eight haulage companies in a letter to the Commission also signed by T&E. The letter says that without a requirement for more data on engine efficiency ‘a meaningful engine standard will not be possible’.
Road transport is one of the few EU sectors where CO2 emissions continue to grow. To address the problem, the Commission plans to publish its proposals on car and van CO2 standards in November, followed by fuel efficiency standards for trucks in early 2018. Using its new EUTRM model, Transport & Environment has analysed the emission reductions of different ambition levels and their contribution to help achieve the 2030 non-ETS targets required from road transport. The key results are:
Truckmakers should have to disclose data about their vehicles’ fuel efficiency, including aerodynamic performance, engine efficiency and rolling resistance, hauliers from across Europe and logistics giant Schenker France SAS have said. This is essential to provide more transparency in the sector and create competition and reliability, the groups said in a letter to the EU climate and industry commissioners that was co-signed with sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E). 
Greenhouse gas emissions from trucks and buses in Europe could be completely eliminated by 2050, a new in-depth study by T&E has found. However, this requires the EU to set ambitious CO2 standards for trucks, increase the share of rail freight and embrace new truck technologies based on renewable electricity, according to the report launched this week at the Mission of Norway to the EU in Brussels.