But while this new test procedure will increase transparency and competition among manufacturers, it will not deliver the emissions cuts Europe needs nor prevent truckmakers exploiting loopholes, as it is the case in the car industry.
T&E urges the European Commission and Member States to agree, in the second VECTO package due this year, to guarantee that third parties (research institutes, fleets, transport companies, NGOs) will have access to the raw data used in VECTO. In this way, independent testing can be performed and official fuel consumption figures can be cross-checked. T&E together with other transport industry representatives have already demanded this in an earlier joint letter.
Since VECTO is only a simulation tool, the second package must also include on-road fuel consumption testing, as the Commission is planning to do for cars and vans.
Stef Cornelis, Safer and Cleaner Trucks Officer, said: “We welcome the adoption of the VECTO test procedure but in order to make it accurate and reliable, we need on-road testing and third party checks. Not only the climate but also the European transport sector would benefit from it.”
In any case, CO2 standards for trucks must be adopted as soon as possible. “With standards, European trucks can be up to 40% more fuel efficient in a cost-effective way. It would also make shipping goods cheaper and reduce our dependence on non-European oil imports.” said Stef Cornelis.
Trucks represent less than 5% of all vehicles on the road in Europe but are responsible for around 30% of road transport CO2 emissions. Their consumption hasn’t improved for the last 20 years: a truck from 2015 still consumes roughly the same amount of fuel as a 1995 truck.