Commercial vehicle makers develop usage-based CO2 tool

European commercial vehicle manufacturers are developing an evaluation tool to calculate real-life emissions of carbon dioxide from trucks and buses ahead of purchase.

Market forces play an instrumental role in reducing CO2 emissions from road transport and an accurate CO2-calculator would help customers find the most fuel-efficient vehicle for each specific transport mission.

The initiative by industry association ACEA marks an important step in realising the commercial vehicle industry’s ‘Vision 2020’, pledging to reduce CO2 emissions by 20 per cent (from 2005 levels) by 2020.

“Our industry fully supports the common objective to reduce CO2 emissions, and by sharing our expertise with the market as well as with policy makers, we will arrive at ambitious results”, said Leif Johansson, chairman of the Commercial Vehicle Board of ACEA and CEO of Volvo Group, making a particular reference to the European Commission’s recently voiced intention to adopt policy measures to reduce CO2 emissions from commercial vehicles.

“It is important that legislators support our efforts with a policy approach that matches the reality of commercial goods and passenger transport. Measures should, furthermore, be globally harmonised. Our industry operates globally, and climate change is also a global challenge,” Johansson told reporters at the IAA international commercial vehicle show in Hanover.

The CO2 evaluation tool will help purchasers to choose the most fuel-efficient vehicle specification, involving issues such as engine-gearbox combination, aerodynamic features and tyre specification. The tool will also serve to provide stakeholders-at-large with essential insight in the complexity and variety of road transport.

The calculation methodology promoted by ACEA uses computer simulation based on real-life tests with trucks and buses in a number of categories, ranging from city buses and garbage trucks to delivery vehicles and long-haul transport. Emissions are calculated in grammes of CO2 per tonne-kilometre, cubic metre-kilometre of goods or passenger-kilometre to properly reflect the purpose and usage of the vehicle concerned.

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