Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New EU rules for safer and greener lorries: European Parliament endorses Commission proposal

European Commission, Press release, Brussels, 15 April 2014:
The European Parliament has endorsed today the Commission's proposal for new EU rules for safer and greener lorries. Vice-President Siim Kallas, in charge of transport, said: "I am pleased with this vote which supports the Commission's goal to make road transport cleaner and safer, allowing innovative designs for the greener trucks of the future."
The European Commission proposed in April 2013 new rules, revising the current legislation on weights and dimensions of certain road vehicles, to allow manufacturers to develop more aerodynamic lorries which will reduce fuel consumption by 7-10%, cut emissions of greenhouse gases, and also enhance the safety of vulnerable road users.

The proposal will allow cabs with a rounded shape and aerodynamic flaps at the back of the trailer. These measures will considerably improve the aerodynamics of vehicles, saving approximately €5,000 per year in fuel costs for a typical long-distance lorry covering 100,000 km. This represents a 7–10% cut in greenhouse gas emissions (or 7.8 tonnes of CO2 for the same long-distance lorry covering 100,000 km). At the same time, the field of vision of the driver will be improved, helping to save the lives of 300 to 500 vulnerable road users such as pedestrians or cyclists every year.
The European Parliament (EP) position at first reading adopted today supports most key provisions in the Commission proposal. The Commission welcomes particularly the EP amendments that
  1. facilitate the use of a broader range of low carbon propulsion technologies,
  2. clarify the possibilities for aerodynamic cabs and rear devices and
  3. strengthen the enforcement provisions of its proposal.
On the other hand, the Commission cannot agree with certain points of the EP position. These include:
  1. an amendment that would limit the extension of aerodynamic rear devices to 500mm (which is already authorised today and which would deprive the society of the benefits of longer devices further reducing fuel consumption and emissions) and
  2. amendments that reject the broad definition of "intermodal transport" proposed by the Commission, which takes into account the evolution of container trade.
The EP decided not to amend the current rules on the cross border operation of longer vehicles and asks the Commission to report on the subject by 2016.
  • What's next?
With this vote, the European Parliament has adopted its first reading position on the Commission proposal. It is now up to the Council to adopt its own position. The Greek Presidency is aiming at a Council position on this text in June 2014. If the adoption of this text takes place in 2014/2015, the new trucks could be expected to be seen on the roads by 2018-2020.


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