EU votes on heavy vehicle standards

The European Parliament Transport Committee (TRAN) has voted on the revision of EU rules on vehicle weights.

The text, adopted at the meeting, retains incentives regarding weight allowance and adds derogations for zero-emission vehicle combinations.

Following the voting carefully, the World Road Transport Association (IRU) said it welcomed the decision to allow up to six additional tonnes for zero-emission vehicle combinations as well as the 12.5 tonne allowance on the drive axle. This, the organisation explains, compensates for load capacity losses due to the weight of zero-emission technology, such as batteries.

“Today’s vote signals that EU policymakers have understood concerns related to the introduction of heavier zero-emission vehicles and the impact they will have on payloads,” said IRU EU Advocacy Director Raluca Marian. “The TRAN Committee has sent a clear signal to the Council, where incentivising zero-emission vehicles remains an issue.”

Another measure that was supported by TRAN was allowing cross-border operations using 44 tonne combinations with a phase-out date of 2034, after which the cross-border facilitation measure will only apply to operators with zero-emission vehicles.

The IRU stated it would prefer to see an evaluation of this provision in 2035 or 2040 when the maturity of alternative fuel technologies, infrastructure availability and operators’ ability to invest, could be more accurately assessed.

Finally, TRAN expressed support for cross-border European Modular Systems (EMS) which can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and improve transport efficiency, but the IRU believed there is still a barrier thanks to conditions imposed on EU Member States. 

“Legislators should also look at proven efficiency and energy saving solutions that can boost decarbonisation immediately, such as more widespread use of EMS, instead of only looking at more difficult longer-term options,” Marian said. “It is shortsighted to impose additional barriers to the wider use of EMS and curtail innovation in road transport decarbonisation.”

In other news, Logistics company Röhlig has opened its newly expanded warehouse facilities in Malaysia.

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