ACEA campaigns for future-proof rest areas

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) is calling for safe and secure parking areas for zero-emission vehicles.

The European Commission is developing new standards for parking areas in Europe to ensure decent resting conditions for heavy vehicle operators.

In the context of the European Green Deal and the urgency to decarbonise the road transport sector to reach climate neutrality in 2050, the standards proposed by the Commission, according to ACEA, fail to take the future needs of zero-emission trucks into account.

ACEA has partnered with 28 other stakeholders to write a letter to the Commission and representatives of the EU members' states to express these concerns.

The letter, dated 7 July and addressed to the European Commission's Directorate General for Transport and members of the expert group for safe and secure trucks parking areas, emphasises the need to future-proof parking areas to accommodate safe and good resting conditions along with appropriate infrastructure to facilitate heavy vehicle charge/refuel requirements.

A 2019 study found that 95 per cent of equipment used on refrigerate trailers in Europe are equipped with a plug but cannot charge or run electricity during rest times due to a lack of infrastructure. The reefer can switch from diesel to electric operation when connected to a 400V net when it is parked. Also, all parking areas with access to an electrical plug when connected to an electrical plug for electric cooling is reported to save 69 per cent in C02, 93 per cent N0x and 96 per cent of all emissions per net operating hour. Further emissions savings would result as the share of renewables in the power mix increases while also improving the quality of a mandatory driver's rest periods due to significant reduction in noise and vibration when diesel engines are off.

The joint letter urges the Commission to consider the following aspects in the delegated acts on standards for safe and secure parking: assessment of the existing grid capacity, optimisation by location for new parking sites, plug-in stations for reefers, and charging requirements to be linked to CEF funding.

Last month, ACEA called for heavy vehicle consideration amid Covid-19.

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