EU paves way for more aerodynamic truck design

The European Transport Council has backed the proposal for a new EU Directive to allow for the development of more aerodynamic trucks.

In the wake of the announcement, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association’s (ACEA) Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert, commented, “The revision of the Directive on the weights and dimensions of commercial vehicles provides a unique opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions more efficiently from heavy duty vehicles.

“Industry should have the flexibility to make use of revised rules to deliver even cleaner and more efficient trucks in the most cost-effective manner.”

He added, “Allowing an extension of the current maximum length of vehicles and vehicle combinations, while complying with legal requirements, will enable the industry to incorporate both existing and future fuel-efficiency innovations into their designs.”

The industry body has long advocated revising weights and dimensions rules to further increase the efficiency of the road freight sector, but also pointed out a lead-time of up to 15 years was needed to put the new laws into place.

“Should it become mandatory to re-design truck fronts in order to improve their fuel-efficiency performance, the lead time granted to the industry must reflect the complexity and expense of this exercise, bearing in mind that trucks are very complex to design and are also produced in small volumes,” ACEA stated.

Meantime, Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of transport, criticized the proposed waiting period. “We urgently need to improve the shape of the lorries on our roads. “The current dimensions tend to produce a brick shape which is one of the least aerodynamic shapes you can imagine,” he said.

“There is no need to make society wait almost a decade to have cleaner and safer lorries on the roads. I hope that with the help of the European Parliament we can remove any delay and bring the new designs to the market as soon as possible.”

Image: ACEA

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